24 Feb 2015 03:31
If you haven’t heard, Playstation Home is going to be closing its doors in March. As a fan since it launched in 2008, join me as I take a look back on the Home experience as it has evolved over the years.
At the beginning of Home, it was the golden age for trolls and trolling other people. I recall a time where voice chat between strangers was enabled by default and it was difficult to mute annoying, random people. “Quincying” was a very popular activity. It was where an attractive woman avatar danced, attracted a crowd of interested guys and then surprised them by transforming into an “ugly” avatar with hilarious results. Honesty there were very few activities in Home at that point in time so Quincying was usually the most fun you could have aside from waiting forever at the bowling alley. Read Joystiq's guide on how to Quincy for even more insight.
The most exciting E3 pitch of being able to visit your trophy room unfortunately never happened. Probably a good thing Home isn’t trying to render my 2000+ trophies. Instead, we did get the virtual E3 experience for a few years, letting people who would never be able to attend E3 the chance to see what the Sony booths and kiosks looked like.
Sodium 1.0 was the first world that felt developed with care and thought. It was smart to allow people to play the first few levels of the Salt Shooter to get hooked and pay for the full game. This area was the start of me getting addicted to the PS Home to complete challenges.
The Development of Substantial Content
A couple years pass and Sony starts fleshing out the Home experience with more areas. They build out the “Hub” with more shopping floors, downtown areas like the Sportswalk, Adventure District and more. They added the ability to get in line for activities like bowling.
One of my favorite additions to Home was the Quest and the Activity Boards where users could get rewards for participating. The Christmas quests took me a couple days to complete and introduced companion avatars like pets for the first time.
I played the Mercia: Fractured Realms and it showed the possibilities of being able to play a fully fleshed out adventure game in Home. Upon entering the world, your character equipped basic weapons and armor, could perform magic spells and there were unique leveling up through tracked experience of enemies defeated. While it was sometime glitch, I had a good time maxing out my character.
Sony introduced the Club x7 and thanks to PS Plus, I got to see how they further segmented their small Home audience into the haves and the have-nots. No one upstairs was ever playing the FLIRT minigame and even fewer did anything of note. Usually there were more Club x7 NPC girls walking around than actual people. Also there was an even more exclusive hottub area I never could enter and never saw anyone in there. I will say the membership was worth the free items every week for Home fans like myself.
The good upshot about Sony shutting down PS Home is it will save me many hours spent waiting for areas to load or transactions to complete. The long loading times across the board were definitely the worst part.
When the doors close, we will be losing unique user interactions and the world built over the years. The silly, bizarre and weird outfits and characters were the high point of the service for me.
Give PS Home one last visit and experience the different game worlds before they are gone. For me, it’s been a bittersweet experience.
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