What is Home? According to PlayStation’s recent press release: “Home is a real-time 3D, networked community that serves as a meeting place for PS3 users from around the world, where they can interact, communicate, join online games, shop, share content and even build and show off their own personal spaces.”
Sound familiar? Although very similar in concept to Second Life, the PS3 virtual world that begins beta-testing in April sounds pretty impressive.
- More realistic physics
- Stream audio/video content from your PS3 into your virtual home
- Already integrated VoIP audio
- Meet people and join them in online PS3 games
- Overall, a much more realistic feel
HOWEVER, I highly doubt that this is going to become a virtual worlds platform that businesses and education are going to leave SL for. My reasoning is that first and foremost, you have to first invest a hefty chunk of change into a PS3 in order to have access to this “free” virtual world. Plus, from what I’ve read, it doesn’t sound like it’s quite as open to users/groups/institutions owning more than the “apartment space” mentioned in their release. (Plus, how hard would it be to explain to a dean that even though it’s accessed through a PS3, it’s not really a game?)
So why am I posting about this if it really has no academic use? This virtual 3D world is going to expose millions of new people to virtual worlds. Plus, watch the video and you’ll see that virtual worlds — those outside of Sony’s ultra-realistic-graphics — are going to have to get even better.