When PlayStation Home director Jack Buser chatted with PSXE this past summer , we outlined a host of reasons as to why gamers should visit Home. The service continues to grow and expand at a rapid rate and if you haven't kept up, you don't know what you're missing. After speaking to Jack again today, two things have become apparent: 1. Home will continue to cater to gamers , and 2. the sky – and maybe a little beyond – is the limit.

Firstly, Jack wants to provide you with a microcosm of Home; a description of a growing social hub that, while currently accurate (and impressive), will continue to bend and flex with future upgrades:

Jack: "It's not just Home's two-year anniversary, it's the sheer number of games: we've announced Novus Prime, the Midway 2 was launched yesterday, and there are two more new games. One of them is Conspiracy from Jet Set Games. It's an action/puzzle game with infiltration and espionage; gamers will be going on raids and trying to steal info from companies. This is just one example; it's such an honor to have so many talented studios coming to the Home platform.

Sodium Two is coming too and if you look at the screenshots, I'm telling you, people don't believe it's a game in Home. We're constantly upgrading development tools for game makers, and we're constantly upgrading the client. We're really advancing. Two years ago, we couldn't have done this; the growth is huge and we'll have incredibly powerful game tools, faster loading, and things like inventory management for our power users to have lots and lots of inventory."

Jack went on to confirm two huge stats: 17 million users – and yes, he's pretty darn sure that's an accurate number – and an average session duration of 70 minutes. "You just lose yourself in this world of games and stuff; there's so much to do," he said. Most importantly, he says the Home team has recognized that gamers want games ; that they need the killer apps, and the connected experience is what separates Home from the rest of the industry.

Now, onto a few questions, mostly taken from recent PSXE reader comments:

PSXE: One common question we've seen is: "When will I be able to play the music and video content on my own HD in my own HomeSpace?"

Jack: "Check out the Ameratsu Yacht; the Hollywood Hills apartment. It just launched a couple days ago and it has a whole new technology: entertainment on demand (EOD). Developed by the LOOT team (they brought us the cool Ghostbusters stuff), they've created a system that allows video content to be played back in Home. It's capable of full-length video content. And it's totally on demand so you just go in, select what you want to play, and go. We've got all kinds of video content so you should definitely check it out."

PSXE: People often say there's so much new stuff, they feel a little lost. What strides have you taken – and are you taking – to make Home more fluid and user-friendly?

Jack: "The big innovation that we have in the client is the Home Navigator, which replaced the world map. The Navigator allows us to feature new content so if you're not sure where to go, go to the Featured Content tab. Then there's another tab there that says New and Recommended; I'd start there. It's where all the latest and greatest stuff is. Then, they can easily pop over to the games column and for an even more immersive experience, they can go to the Central Plaza. We let you know what's hot and new there, too."

PSXE: Recently, a Microsoft executive said Home is little more than a “nice chat room.” What do you have to say to that?

(Jack thought about the best way to answer this for a moment…we think he came up with the right reply)

Jack: "You know you’re doing well when your competition starts paying attention. I’ll leave it at that."

PSXE: In reality, how much further can Home really go? Where are the boundary lines?

Jack: "Okay, I can answer that in two parts:

First, practically- the progress we've made in the past couple of years really is just the beginning. We have so many games in development right now; the games you saw us announce this week are just a small handful of what's in development. Users can expect to see a ton of games for Home. You can expect to see continuous improvements to the client itself, which allows us to build games that weren't possible in the past. Just wait…there's so much stuff in development, whether it be from a technical or game standpoint. Frankly, it was really hard to select which games we would announce because there are so many; developers have found so much success from a business view.

Now, as for my vision for the future- I always like to say at developer conferences, 'if you want to know what games are going to look like in the future, look no further than Home.' Everywhere I go in Home, there's this continuous universe of games out there. This idea that you're in a universe of games – that are free – is big; you can see the industry moving towards these business models. We want to create an experience that gamers expect and to me, it's really exciting. Home itself is really pointing towards the future.

Let me put it this way: when I first saw Tron, sitting there as a youngster, I knew that that was the future. Running around in a universe of games. It has been a vision of the future for a while. And only with the power of the PS3 have we been allowed to realize it; that's why I get up in the morning. It's because I know we're pioneering the future of the industry."

End Interview

It's always obvious that Jack is one of those guys who loves his job, and who will do everything in his power to develop that vision of his…and we all benefit from that work. I would normally elaborate a bit, but I'm saving it for an add-on editorial I'm going to write right now.

By the way, just a reminder in case you missed it during my Week in Review: Insomniac has asked us to hold off posting the results of our Q&A (concerning Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One ). We're waiting for a better publication time and also, we should be able to take some Resistance 3 questions from you guys at that time. ūüôā

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Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

I laughed at the Microsoft question and consequent answer.

PSHome certainly does seem to be getter bigger, and there are a lot fewer naysayers now then there were in the early days. I think the potential is starting to be realised. One thing that got me interested was the comment on developer tools becoming more complex, so not only will we be seeing more games, but also more similar to actual purchased games than the arcade scene.

One thing that I see potentially growing from this is an LBP2 like creation scheme that will allow anyone to create small games for people to amuse themselves with. I wonder if that is even possible…

As always, loved reading the interview, and his comments make me wonder about the future of games. Again, relating to the online vs. offline debate. I'll think on that for a while.
Peace.


Last edited by Lawless SXE on 12/10/2010 11:06:29 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Lawless, online doesn't always mean multi-player. Connected? Yes. Multi-player? Not necessarily. There are plenty of single player online game experiences – Salt Shooter for example.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

No, I wasn't thinking in terms of multiplayer. More, that Home is becoming a platform for games, and may be the eventual path that Sony takes for the future. Also thinking about the DRM for games on PC that require an internet connection, leaderboards, and in general a possible abandonment of the ability to play offline. I'll get back to you when these thoughts coalesce.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Great interview Ben. I loved his answer about Microsoft….I feel the same way.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
9 years ago

They know their toaster can't handle something like PS HOME.

Just like it can't handle FFXIV.

or MAG

Yeah…


Last edited by Scarecrow on 12/11/2010 12:05:02 AM

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
9 years ago

Another great interview,
Kudos!!!!

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
9 years ago

Ah, great read!

I'm telling you, I see, have ALWAYS seen PS HOME as an MMOrpg-type deal. Ok maybe not rpg, but a platform for developers to make games.

The Agency for example could be made straight into PSHOME.

That game by Jet Set studios looks damn good. If we can actually play stuff like that then count me in.

[email protected] pic

By the way, chicks dig PSHOME, yes I have some PSHOME lady-friends and they seem to be in it at least twice a week.

I will have to tour HOME again, play those games and not worry so much about the social aspect. I think we just weren't sure what to do when it first came out. But I think now that they've added tons of spaces and games it's well worth investigating it all.

Thanks for the interview Ben, educative information is always good. psxe delivers.

Alienange
Alienange
9 years ago

I still don't understand how they expect to draw gamers into Home over them simply putting in the retail game they just bought. What's the incentive?

What about taking a picture of my avatar and using it on my gamercard?

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
9 years ago

They arent trying to lure you away from retail games…It's like..

The incentive is knowing that its a constantly changing universe, there's always something new, be it a new UNCHARTED 3 room with details about the game with mini-games rewarding you with uncharted themed merchandise or simply new clothes & feautres etc.

It's also a great place to meet up with friends, chat, then launch into a game of UC2 multiplayer, for example everone on PSX could join a room for gaming nights…which we should tottaly do btw.

Do you catch my drift or should I explain further :D? (Please don't say yes…working with this on-screen keyboard is such a handful.)


Last edited by Ludicrous_Liam on 12/11/2010 7:02:48 AM

Alienange
Alienange
9 years ago

You're certainly making sense there but I guess what I mean, for myself anyway, is that I have gaming time. Do I spend my gaming time in Home or do I spend it playing my retail purchase?

A PSXE hub would be awesome for sure.

RebelJD
RebelJD
9 years ago

Playstation Home is a great thing to have and enjoy. I've been on it for almost a year now and already I've seen great strides in what they offer. I know that with more updates and more feedback, Home will become one sweeeet place to be a part of.

Kiryu
Kiryu
9 years ago

Playstation Home is Revolutionary.Microsoft's Just Jealous about Playstation home!

Apex
Apex
9 years ago

Why is the Cookie Monster in that 3rd pic?

Amazingskillz
Amazingskillz
9 years ago

Sodium 2….Hell yeah! Sodium 1 was sweet. Salt Shooter was excellent for a $5 game.