March 11th, 2007, 17:58 Posted By: wraggster
Thereís a lot of websites out there giving out new info on Home, in what it does, what it can do, what it could do. This is the ultimate summation of Home, and all the facts you see here are confirmed by various websites like IGN, Gamespot, etc. The speculations will be marked as such. Enjoy!
What is Home?
From the official press release:
ē Its the first of itís kind on a videogame console
ē A unique blend of community, user-generated content, collaboration
and commerce that is the future of computer entertainment.
ē Will broaden the online community market in the same way that the
PlayStation brand has broadened the video gaming market
ē Will take the mystery and the geekiness out of online interaction, and
make it as easy as text messaging or picking up the phone
ē Is inclusive and welcoming, not exclusive and daunting like current
ē Is the gateway and start point for a huge range of future
How much will it cost?
All services, including public lobbies and minigames to play with others, are free. You start with an avatar of your creation, a small apartment to invite friends over to, your very own Hall of Fame and access to all main lobbies.
How large will the download size be?
Sony is intending to make it under 500mb, with extra downloadable content obviously ballooning the size.
Is Home a self-contained game/service that is played on its own?
No. The functionalities of Home can also be used in the XMB, as well as all the lobby/online friends features that can be carried over to any PS3 game, regardless of its current online structure. (note that the details of how this works is still a bit unclear).
Is Home basically a glorified chat room?
Absolutely not. Itís a full online service (much like Xbox Live) that is meant as an open community for PS3 owners. While you can sit and chat with others, you can also play games in the public lobbies together (like pool, bowling, basketball and more) as well as watch media content with others in movie theaters, play arcade games in the lobby and other features we donít know about just yet. Again, if you donít care of any of these activities you can simply utilize the new XMB lobbies and jump into a PS3 game.
What are public, game and private areas?
Public lobbies are the big open spaces used by anyone on the PS3 network. They have large screens for video content and advertising, as well as community pool tables, bowling lanes and much more for anyone to pick up and play. You can meet friends here and make new ones!
Private areas are places such as your apartment, where you can also furnish with your own private pool tables and games, as well as a ton of custom-made items. No one has access to your apartment unless you invite them.
Game lobbies are used for specific games for friends to join up before hopping into a PS3 game, much like Halo 2ís party system. For example, a Motorstorm lobby set in the dusty desert could be built into Home, and as friends join in they can hop into Motorstorm together. Once theyíre done playing, quitting the game boots them back into the Motorstorm lobby. Itís unknown whether or not game lobbies can be accessed from within the game, as details on game lobbies themselves are still a bit unclear.
How many players can be in a lobby at one time?
The maximum per public lobby is 64. The number for your private apartment varies, but obviously is much smaller. No exact number is known for private and game lobby spaces.
Will there be a kick/ban type system for public lobbies?
There will be community moderators patrolling in every public lobby to make sure no one is being a jackass. Private spaces are unmoderated, but you can kick people out of your own apartment if you choose to.
Whatís the level of avatar interaction with people?
You can chat, dance, gesture, and lots more with others, but you cannot physically interact with them. No sexy time for you!
What is the extent of customization for private apartments?
Quite a bit. You can hang pictures of various sizes and load up images from your XMB to use on the wall. You can also play music on your radio and have video content streaming from your TVs in the room directly from content on your hard drive.
Will other players see my content?
Yes. All players in your apartment can see the pictures, custom music and video streaming from your TV. You can have a Seinfeld fiesta and invite some people over while streaming some classic episodes on your TVs while mariachi music blares from your radio if you want! All your friends will be able to enjoy your media.
How many video streams can go on at once?
Most likely just one, with all TVs in the apartment showing the same thing. This is unconfirmed however.
Are the video/music/pictures in private apartments moderated?
There is no moderation/filter at all for any type of video, picture or music you choose to play in your private apartment. Public areas will be strictly moderated and will likely not allow streaming of your own private content in the lobbies. Itís not known what type of media codec is restricted for video if at all, or if certain lengths are not allowed (for instance, the 10 minute limit on Youtube).
What if I donít want to see other playerís content?
You can easily turn off seeing custom content from other people, as well as have restrictions via parental tools to help combat the threat of teh porno. You can also file complaints against offensive apartments, as there is a ban/complaint system integrated into Home much like Xbox Liveís ban/complaint service.
Can I play Blu-Ray or DVD movies from my virtual TVs?
You can boot to a Blu-Ray or DVD from home, but you cannot stream them.
What are the other areas of Home?
Home allows publishers and devs to create custom-built lobbies for their company or specific game for all Home users to enjoy publicly. There was an example at GDC of someone like EA having a sports lobby, complete with sports minigames, streaming sports news and channels on the walls and more.
Itís very likely companies will utilize their licenses to create truly unique and great lobbies for people to enjoyÖsuch as EA making an ESPN sports lobby, or Sony creating lobbies for specific movies coming out, complete with exclusive video content and such. Phil Harrison himself gave the example of a Starbucks opening their own lobby within the Home world.
Another area of Home includes the Movie Theater, where people can join up and check out trailers & short films from grouper.com, as well as download content directly to their hard drive. There are still more areas that we donít know about, but hopefully we will soon!
So if I want to watch a movie on my hard drive, I have to boot up Home and go to the movie theater?
No. The XMB will still allow for instant access to photos, movies and music. The main difference in going to Home for video content is to watch it with other online players in real time.
So what kind of stuff will actually be for sale?
The PS Home will allow you to use the Playstation Wallet. It is not known whether you can buy content within Home or if it will be only in the Playstation Store.
As of this point itís really all speculation, though it is confirmed that you can buy mini-games to enjoy on the arcade cabinets in lobbies. Whether you can buy bigger apartments, TVs, clothes and such isnít known yet, but very likely. Considering the great prices that Sony has set for their content so far, itís nothing to get too worried about. And if you donít care about having a swanky couch in your apartment, the free items should suit you just fine.
So you can buy mini-arcade games for the cabinets in the lobby?
Yes, but thatís an interesting one. It will retail for sub-$5 prices, but because you can customize which games appear in the public lobby, itís likely you wonít be able to view someone playing a game in real time.
While you can play simple mini-games in the arcade cabinet lobby, you cannot play PSN titles like flOw and such in the same cabinet. Itís unclear if the retro titles like Q*Bert and Mortal Kombat II will work in the arcades. You can also get your own cabinets for your private apartment. Again, whether or not people can play your arcade machine with a game you purchased but they havenít is unclear at the moment, but given the fact that you can already share your PSN games with up to five people, itís very likely.
Can I sell my own content? Perhaps start my own online business?
Sony has stated that they want to create an auction-type system for custom created content. Phil Harrison gave an example of an interior decorating service with custom wallpapers for sell & more. Itís unlikely that this will make the fall launch however.
How far will customization go? Maybe I can make my own shirt or something?
Any kind of custom content will likely not be allowed in public lobbies.
Can I unlock furnishings for my apartment, clothing, etc.?
Yes. Purchasing certain games will automatically download new items to use right on your hard drive for free. So if you were to buy the game Heavenly Sword, youíd get a nice assortment of wallpaper, furniture, and different items with the Heavenly Sword theme for use in your Home. Itís unknown if trophies earned via the Hall of Fame unlock additional Home content.
Will I be able to use any game aspects of Home with PS3 games?
Sony is working with a few companies to see about importing your custom character into games, but itís not something thatís actively being pursued. Itís more about importing game content into Home than the other way around.
What about PSP connectivity?
Not at launch, but they will in the future.
Will there be a separate list of friends for Home?
No, it will be the XMB friends list, which has unconfirmed reports of increasing to 100 by the fall. 50 is the limit at this point however.
What is the Hall of Fame?
The Hall of Fame is another addition to Home that expands to all PS2, PS3, PSN and PSP games. Much like Achievements on the 360, the PS3 allows you to earn rewards based on a specific objective (ďkill 100 enemies using only the pistolĒ). Unlike the 360, the PS3 doesnít award gamerpoints but instead relies on virtual trophies that can be viewed in the Hall of Fame. It is possible to earn trophies with older games that donít support this program directly (PS2 and PSP games), but will likely have just one or two rewards for those games (most likely beating the game at a certain difficulty level).
You can customize your Hall of Fame to your choosing, though we havenít seen that in action just yet.
Do I have to use Home to view my trophies?
No. You can view all your trophies using the XMB, a la Xbox Liveís Achievement program.
Can other players view my Hall of Fame?
Yes, you can invite them over and brag like a true champion. Itís not known at this time whether or not the Hall of Fame will be directly connected to your private apartment, but it doesnít look like it is.
Will there be trophies for the Home program itself?
Yes. As shown in the keynote, there were a few trophies you could earn in the virtual lobbies (bowl a perfect game, make 100 friends, etc.).
Will there be some kind of patch for older games like Resistance that donít have the trophy program built in?
Itís highly likely that all first and second party games will get a patch. Older third party games like Blazing Angels probably wonít.
Again, the full details of the Hall of Fame havenít been released, but itís certainly an interesting concept!
What are the things we donít know yet about Home?
Quite a bit, such as whether or not local multiplayer can be used, or how the game lobbies work. The official private beta in April should clear up quite a few questions, no doubt.
Who can join the April private beta?
Itís not known at this time, but you can check out http://www.homebetatrial.com/ to get more details soon. Itís likely that members of the Playstation Underground will get first crack at it.
Is the beta the full version of the fall release?
No, as some features (including PS3 game lobbies and being able to jump into a game with friends from your virtual apartment) will not be included. Itís really a stress test to see how Home works within itself before branching out to the other PS3 features. The full version comes out in October.
And thatís it so far! Keep watching the blog for more ideas on how Home might expand and grow, and check out the Home Possibilities, Part 1 entry if you havenít already. For even MORE info, visit the official NeoGAF FAQ section right here.
Itís an exciting time to be a PS3 owner, thatís for sure!
For more information and downloads, click here!
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