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Home Boring? |

I’ve been in the beta for a week as of today, and I have to say two things:

1) It’s pretty.
2) It’s pretty boring.

I can see that much of the boring stuff can easily be fixed later, and probably will be. Like the fact that the mall contains absolutely nothing to buy, so every third person is a clone. That there’s almost nothing to decorate my apartment with. Or that not all of my friends are in Home – they don’t have Home (or a PS3!) yet.

Those “issues” will (hopefully) pass by the wayside. (I really hope that Sony doesn’t cheap out and charge for everything. We need to have a good selection of free stuff too!)

But what about the fact that there’s just nothing to do? Will that be fixed? There seem to be two primary purposes to Home:

1) Meet other gamers.
2) Enter games together (this is Home’s “crown jewel“).

I can see how (1) will be solved by Home. Just enter the world and start talking to people! But what about (2)? The only game I know of that supports Home game launching (HGL – new acronym!) is Warhawk. And even that seems to be disabled in the current build.

So once Home goes public, how many games will support HGL? Just Warhawk? A couple other first party titles? Will Sony make sure that their titles are retroactively patched with HGL? Will Sony pressure other studios to support HGL? I know one thing for sure – HGL is never coming to Call of Duty: World at War (my game du jour)! (See Activision’s track record.)

Sony needs to pressure development studios to support HGL in all new online games (I can hear Darrin coughing now). Sony needs to patch recent titles. Sony needs to pressure third parties for patches too. It’s obvious that HGL is only useful if a wide variety of games are supported. We can’t play Warhawk all day every day.

So the question is: by the time Home actually becomes useful because it has enough HGL titles, will it be too late?

  • George

    I took a look at the latest version last night. It looks like a step back compared to previous iterations…sort of like they are cutting features to try and make the system more stable.

    I suppose a more stable system would be desirable.

    Clipping is still a problem – sit on the floor and your view will shear through stuff when it rotates.

    At this point it remains a glorified chat room filled with male avatars crowding around the female avatars.

  • James

    Got the Home beta today, and yes, I agree. It’s as dull as dishwater, but does have potential.

  • Gary

    I downloaded the Home BETA today and was so excited by this that I promptly ignored it once it had installed.

    I currently have no intention of having a look around until somebody somewhere tells me there is actually something useful to do in there.

    All I’m hearing is how boring Home currently is.

    I’m not even bothered about launching games from within Home unless it allows you to chat within that private group once you enter a game.

  • Trieloth

    Nice, first it was LBP and now Home. lol. Correct me if Iam wrong but isnt this a beta still? And since when did betas have everything…I cant think of any that did. (CoD:waw, LBP, KZ2, R2)
    I beleive the reason they took alot of things away (uncharted,farcry2 spaces,etc.) to centralize everyone so they can test the servers. So they can hopefully open up the beta….right?
    Iam not to sure what you guys are expecting but what ever. Iam not bored w/Home. Alot of people on my buddy list ended up with it lately and where having a good ol’ time bowling, playn pool and chating about games that came out or are coming out and the potential Home has. Once in a while someone will walk along and join the conversation and Bam we end up with a new buddy. Sorry but my 360 cant compete with that…

  • darrin

    Home is boring. It still has potential, but the current beta is just a glorified chat room. I’m disappointed that they’ve added such few features since this was announced in March of 2007.

    #1 Home feature for me will be Home-based game announcements and E3/TGS events.

    Trieloth: LBP is totally the opposite. That completely exceeded my expectations.

  • JimmyStewart

    I agree 100% with the post. I’ve been in the Home beta for a while now and though it’s really grown a lot it’s still nothing I can ever see myself using. Even being in the beta I rarely found a use for it other than to show all my 360 friends what Sony had up it’s sleeve. Now that they’ve opened the beta up a bit it’s a little easier to find people to interact with, but even still I don’t really see much point in interacting with other folks if I don’t know them in real life.

    In a different way Home has been very interesting. Since it was announced it’s gotten so much hype. It was a very interesting experience to be in on the beta that so much of the gaming press seemed so interested in, but at the same time seeing how unimpressive it actually was. It’s been really weird to read so many mixed reactions about it now that more people are getting in there. The negative opinions so far seem to be in the minority. I’ve read so many more positive reviews for Home than I ever thought I would. Assuming they don’t do a massive overhaul to Home before it’s released I’m really interested to see how the public at large takes to it!

  • Carl;)G

    Well you can do(Now) –
    Play Pool
    Play Chess
    Play Bowling
    Play Arcade Machine games
    Chat to people (soon with all your PSN mates)
    Dance to Music(US version) šŸ˜€ (I want that in the Europe version)
    When it’s Open beta HOME
    You can Buy stuff for –
    Your Apartment
    More Clothes
    Get New stuff unlocked form playing games
    (i.e i got things from the Japanese HOME beta for playing the old-skool NAMCO games, like NAMCO clothes + Apartment stuff)
    New Game rooms will be coming(Uncharted,WarHawk etc etc)
    You got your own Club Space(which i have got an amazing idea for) šŸ˜‰
    Hopefully play your own music + videos(???)in your Apartment…

    So it’s got Potential to be amazing really šŸ™‚
    It’s ok now, it’s not that boring, i’m thankful SONY are doing this for us for FREE. If you don’t like, don’t us it šŸ˜€ Easy no???

  • Stephen

    I tried home too. It is pretty boring and very slow.

    Maybe this is just the beta…but I really don’t think there are other things they can do to really improve it

  • James

    i was on when devs were answering questions. video and music streaming will be supported, more mini games will come, $10 will get you $10,000 home dollars (which is a bit considering new lots will only be 1000 to 3000), movie theater is being tested right now tho. also, you will also get home bucks for trophies, and they retro back to trophies you already have as well. there were a ton of questions…

  • James

    … but not all were answered. sorry using ps3s browser. Anyway, never got an answer for my e3 streaming question. got a no on the Home casino question (I think thatd be a great idea), ill have to see if the beta forums have anything on it. right now its bare bones because theyre really testing the servers and network stability so nothing will be on there during the beta and everything will be added when its released Dec. 15th (confirmed. 30th if needed, but they absolutely guaranteed no later)

  • i find the avatars in home disappointing. on an SDTV, the avatars almost all look the same at any distance. sure the faces can be customized a lot, but you can’t *see* those differences at any distance. even the fattest and shortest avatars aren’t very interesting. i would prefer a *lot* more variety. just being able to personalize my avatar a lot more would be great.

    also, i don’t think this lanky-looking ‘realistic’ avatars are going to be as nearly as widely appealing as miis or xbox 360 avatars.

    loading times are too slow. i can’t imagine booting up into home to do regular stuff.

    and i echo the concern about there not being much to *do*. and i don’t even ask for much. just give me the ability to jump/climb like in a platformer and i’d have fun just exploring a complex space. or collecting random hidden items.

  • James

    I think the bowling and pool are pretty addicting in the bowling alley, especially when playing against a friend. There will be more to come. Apparently, the Japanese Home beta also has darts.

    As far as avatar customiation goes, it is only a beta right now, and the features aren’t being tested as much as server-side stability. Clothing options and whatnot will be far more numerous than in the beta.

    People just seem to forget that a beta, not an internal one mind you, is more or less a glorified online demo and that Home isn’t a game (despite having mini-games within Home).

    Trust me, I’m tired of everyone looking the same as well, but it comes with the territory. I’m just glad I got to make my guy fat lol. As far as the future of Home goes, I believe it’s got a lot of untapped potential, but with the limitations in the beta, we won’t see any of it come into fruition until it goes public.

    Also, I got picked on a lot because my guy was fat lol. My PSN name is JimmyMagnum and one guy said “the only thing Magnum about you is your stomach”. I laughed. Another guy tried to make fun of me being fat by saying I look llike a refrigerator, but I completely killed him on the comebacks (our back-and-forth lasted about 40 mins, until I beat him in bowling and he told me shamu won lol). He was probably 12.

  • Ves

    The points you bringing will be Sony’s biggest ‘issues’ to fix if they really want Home to become a success. Yeah a lot of features are disabled in the Closed Beta, but that many? Seeing as they aim to roll it out as Gmail, having all features working to be tested out would be smarter.

    One thing I noticed on forums and comments on different sites. Some people are just acting childish in there. It’s a shame what I see and read, it will really ruin the atmosphere for many.

  • It’s like saying Windows is boring (which it is šŸ˜‰ without looking at any of the content that’s on your computer.

  • “just give me the ability to jump/climb like in a platformer and iā€™d have fun just exploring a complex space. or collecting random hidden items.”

    What a bizarre comment!

    It’s not a game, so there is nothing to ‘find’, and no need whatsoever to jump or climb. Clearly you’re expecting Home to be something it’s not. I suggest you try Tomb Raider Underworld instead.

  • I think the real draw for Home will actually be the avatars – just look at what Microsoft have tried to counter with. I have the same 3 minutes of fun designing an avatar as the next guy, but when they’re actually available for use in a bunch of games, thats when their potential will be seen.

    I guess it’s the online persona thing stepping up, and the online social trend taking a step back.

  • mpz

    Probably wont be for everyone. It is a bit weirdly placed in the market really.

    I would’ve really loved this stuff 10-15 years ago when I was into irc ‘socialising’ (as a now roughly-average-aged ‘gamer’), but now i’m not sure I could be bothered.


    I entered the Beta last week. It looks fine, it had some potential… I spent time to chat with other and extended my friends list. Fine. But every time I was in conversation with someone, there’s always a guy with a IQ of 1 screaming in his mic and bothering everybody. Where are the moderators? Is there anybody with power to kick or ban, to keep a simili-peaceful environment?? This thing make me think tha the home place, mall or any public area will be fulled with dumb a**. That’s a major issue for me of easily-offended people (like my GF ;)).

    We need Home policeman šŸ˜€ And I,m agree with the post… Home’s boring… until they open more bowling alley or adding more fun arcade game (not like echochrome or carriage return).

  • I’ll agree that HOME is boring. But there is real potential to do something great. I like the apartment concept. Think of it as avatar chat and it becomes very interesting.
    The number of games has to increase. Waiting for a bowling Alley is somewhat dumb. I’m online. I can clone anythying. There should be a million Bowling alleys. Not just 4 or five lanes.
    I don’t have a problem with paying for objects to put into my apartment or clothing to wear. I will have a problem with the cost. IF everything is relatively cheap i can live with it.

  • You are right, HOME is damn BORING. And mostly because of the slow chat. We spend ages to write a single line! Someone at SONY forgot of the fast KILLZONE chat? Someone rember it? ( ) I think this can boost a little the interaction between gamers (the unic interisting thing actually). So we must push on Sony to get this on next firmware… well at least we wouldn’t be obliged to buy the new keypad.

  • it’s not a bizarre comment to want to jump. heck, people can fly in second life, which is what home is often compared to.