March 9th, 2007, 23:39 Posted By: wraggster
The shockwaves felt from the announcement of Sony Computer Entertainment's impending online community Home are still rippling through the industry. So far, of course, that impact has put all the focus on PlayStation 3, but in the future, SCE may be able to use re-direct some of the Home movement towards its other "Game 3.0' system, the PlayStation Portable.
In a Home technical FAQ on Sony Computer Entertainment's DevNet service, the company addressed the question of whether Home will be accessible outside of your PlayStation 3. The company confirmed that aspects of Home are being considered for use on PlayStation Portable and possibly cellphones. Sony did not answer directly what its intentions might be with a mobile version of Home or give a timeline of when to expect further answers on these possibilities. The full quote about how Home relates to PSP is as follows:
Q: Is Home a PS3 specific service? Will users be able to access Home through other devices? Initially Home will only be accessible via that PLAYSTATION®3, although over time our intention is to enable users to interface certain Home features and services via other networked devices such as PlayStation®Portable (PSP®) and mobile phones.
IGN regular DarthBrian calls this "Virtual PSP" in Home a tease.
We're hoping that instead, it's a hint...
However it might be that Sony could "enable users to interface certain Home features" with PSP would be welcome -- this system is dying for a community network service of some type. However, PSP owners might want to temper expectations of a portable Home until we see what Sony actually does with it. It could well be that while the communication aspects of Home might come to PSP, it would be in the form of a more standard communication service -- text chat, VOIP exchanges, AIM-style Friend Lists, etc. -- than a full-fledged 3D version of home on the portable. Although Home is an amazing application capable of 3D gaming and other forms of interactivity, its underlying principle technology is simply standard communication methods (in fact, users can skip Home's virtual world entirely and just message or chat with each other on the standard PS3 XMB menu.) So, while your friends are exploring a 3D world of people and conversations, PSP home users might simply see a chat log and a Lobby List.
Even that, however, would be a huge service for the PlayStation Portable, which currently has no means of communicating with the PlayStation Network userbase and no community service of its own (unless you count the online crowd gathered for SOCOM and Syphon Filter battles.) Whether the PSP does or does not have a virtual world version of Home (and we're not saying it won't -- we're just saying that Home services might be quite different from what we're all excited about on PS3), that still means you would have Friend Lists and email access and the ability to challenging gamers before booting your favorite PSP game to see if anybody is online to play it. Plus, this would give PlayStation gamers a portable means of checking out what's going on at Home when they're not at home to check in on PS3.
Home is a major part of the future of PlayStation, and we'll be following its developments to see how Home expands and (hopefully) where else gamers can call Home.
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