Forget your Second Life, Sony wants your first, and it’s official crack at securing the goods, dubbed PlayStation Home, is mere weeks if not days away. An unconfirmed rumor tendered by Times Online yesterday listed Home as “slated for release in the next 10 days.” Make that semi-confirmed, says Joystiq, which cites PlayStation Home director Jack Buser as stating the game “will launch by end of calendar year 2008.” Actually make that semi-confirmed by IGN a few weeks earlier, when SCEA marketing and hardware director John Koller said more or less the same thing.
I’ve been fiddling with PlayStation Home the last few weeks, and I’m still not entirely sure what to make of it. It’s certainly nothing at all like Nintendo’s placeholder Miis, or Microsoft’s similarly minimalist avatars. It’s very pretty, very much a wraparound experience in which unremarkable mini-games and virtual stores are built into a simulated slice of city and the point involves the novelty of wandering around and bumping into people in the colorful spaces between nodes.
Joystiq’s inexplicably intimating that the delivery method won’t “be via a mere firmware update or PlayStation Store download.” I don’t see why not. Home is slightly more than 3 GB at version 1.02, which while not inconsiderable is hardly unreasonable if you’ve got a broadband connection. After all, anyone using Valve’s Steam routinely pulls down games two or three times as large. Will Sony make it available in disc form somehow? Count on it, but count on a downloadable option, too.