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[Editorial] The PlayStation Network Can Make You “Cool”

By Floris O. Pittman Jr. co-writer for

Out of all of my son’s friends, my son has the coolest dad. Or at least that’s what they all tell him. Why? Well, because I collect comics, toys, and most importantly PS3 games. I also play the games with them, and sometimes let them win. At least that’s what I tell myself. My son is 12 years old and his four closest friends are all 12 to 13. All four of them have PS3’s as well. A couple have Wii’s , however none of them have that “other system.” Two of the four boys had the Xbox 360, but traded them towards a PS3 so they could play with us. My brother and two closest friends all have PS3s as well. Together the nine of us have become even closer friends, age knowing no limits, playing virtually through what is called the PlayStation Network.

This PlayStation Network, known as the PSN, has captivated us for nearly 3 1/2 years. It is constantly updating and changing to become better and better. PSN is the PS3’s online network for multiplayer gaming, communicating with other players, downloading digital media including games and movies, and also for a little place called Home. To access the PSN all you need for your PS3 is an internet connection. As for the cost to use and join the network, well, it’s free. Yes free! You will need to create a unique user name using an email address, and add a password. Then all u need to do is sign in. From there, you can start adding friends, by their user names.

With your friends usernames added to your friend list, you can do many things. First you can see if they are on the PSN and what game they are currently playing. You can send them messages like an instant email, or invite them to a text, voice, or video chat. The PSN is also used to invite your online friends to the current game you are playing. If you want to show your friend how awesome you’ve become with your sniper rifle in Modern Warfare 2, you can invite them to your current free for all game and shoot them in the head. Better yet, you can show off your accomplishments by having them compare your trophies to theirs.

Trophies are awards for certain accomplishments in a game. The PSN stores your trophies online so any one of your friends can see them and compare them to their own. Likewise, you can see theirs and make sure to stay ahead of them in this true measure of your gaming worth. If you see a friend has received a trophy for completing a game of Poker in Red Dead Redemption, you can one-up them by not only completing a game of poker, but also getting the trophy for a ringer in a game of horse shoes. Trophies for the different games come in bronze, silver, or gold, and are dependent upon the difficulty of the task to attain the trophy. There is also a prized Platinum trophy for unlocking all of the other trophies in a game. Each level of trophy has an ascending amount of experience point value that adds to an overall trophy level. The higher this level the more bragging right you will have among your friends. The PSN also now has the availability for users to automatically update their Facebook page with newly earned trophies, further showing your dominance in the game.

Get your Portable ID!

When your trophies exceed your friends, you can always take a break and check out the PSN’s PlayStation Store.

The PlayStation Store has all the digital media you need to keep you busy for a long, long time. There are hundreds of games and thousands of movies to download. Many free game demos are available, as well as loads of add on content for your favorite games, and even many full games. Trailers for upcoming games, as well as the exclusive video magazines Qore and Pulse, are great ways to decide what upcoming games you will buy to further your reign of video game dominance. The PS Store also has the availability to download a wide variety of movies and TV shows. Most of them are available in HD and can be rented for short term use, or even bought to enjoy whenever you choose. Every Tuesday in the US, we anxiously wait to see what new demos, themes, add-ons, and videos the weekly update to the PS Store brings.

Another part of the free PSN is the area called Home. The PSN’s Home truly deserves and would require its own editorial to fully explore all the features. In brief, Home is a virtual, community based world in which users are able to customize their avatars and personal space. Your human avatar can be dressed to look like everything from an Alien to a Zebra. Different clothing items, costumes, furniture, and even different apartments can be won or purchased to fully customize your Home experience. Within Home, users can chat with other users, as well as play many fun mini-games, or even go directly into a full multiplayer game such as Uncharted 2 or Modern Warfare with other users in Home.

Another advantage of the PSN includes the availability to download player made levels for games such as Little Big Planet and Mod Nation Racers. If you have a PS3 and haven’t created a username to check out the PSN, you are seriously missing out. Even if you only bought the PS3 as a bluray player and have no interest in games, there is plenty to see and do on the network. Plus it will help your “cool” factor.

Thank you PlayStation Network for giving me the opportunity to be the coolest dad around!