Home Sweet Home? Testing Out Playstation(R) Home Public Beta

home 02 Home Sweet Home? Testing Out Playstation(R) Home Public Beta 

Just a few days after the launch of NXE for Xbox 360, a few chosen ones, like around 100,000 PS3 users, had a chance to test out Playstation ® Home Beta Version 1.0 Friday afternoon. I was a little excited but didn’t expect much since it was a beta. The file download is really small.

home 08 Home Sweet Home? Testing Out Playstation(R) Home Public Beta

After you download and install the game, you can start off with creating your avatar. You can choose between a few selections of clothing, accessories, facial hair, and a wide variety of hairstyles. You can then customize your appearance like your face, height, skin color and etc. The face creation is really customizable. You can control the height and width of your eyes, nose, mouth, forehead, brows, chin and more. Even with all these customizable features, I still can’t create an avatar that resembles me if my life depended on it. Maybe some of you out there will have better luck at creating your likeness.

home 03 Home Sweet Home? Testing Out Playstation(R) Home Public Beta

After you’re done creating your character, you start off in your fancy lonely apartment complex at the edge of a cliff overlooking the pier. It’s a shame that  you can’t ride in the boats or play at the beach. What a tease.

When you want to leave your room, you have to download other areas that weren’t downloaded yet including the plaza area, the mall, the entertainment area, and the theatre. It makes you wonder why Sony just didn’t include those areas in the initial install. But you can download those areas in the background, letting you walk around and mingle with other players in the meantime.

home 07 Home Sweet Home? Testing Out Playstation(R) Home Public Beta

The plaza is the central hub that connects all the areas together. That’s where all the players start off. In the plaza, you’re bombarded with ads from games like LittleBigPlanet, Far Cry 2, and Socom: Confrontation (makes me feel like these are the only three games in the PS3’s library). When you walk all the way to the north end of the plaza, you’ll get a chance to bust out your dance moves on the outdoor dance floor with loud music blaring out the speakers. Too bad you can’t make song requests.

You can do all kinds of interactions with other users like waving to fist pumping, and dancing to just sitting down chilling. You can communicate using a headset, keyboard, or preset responses. Something about online worlds that always attracts people to bust a move. If only people acted this silly in real life.

home 09 Home Sweet Home? Testing Out Playstation(R) Home Public Beta

The first stop you’d want to make before everything else is the bowling alley. I got a chance to play pool with some immature players who likes to put their balls in the hole. You get some arcade games like Echochrome and a Tetris/Column-type game involving trains (very old school looking that it hurts my next gen eyes). I wasn’t able to get a lane in bowling since it was all taken up.

The mall is the place to be if you want to buy clothes, furniture, or crazy gadgets. Since it’s a beta, the stores have no items in stock. Damn you economy! But you can go to the second floor to play a lovely quiet game of chess, woohoo.

These are neat ideas, but the beta doesn’t really have a lot to do since there’s no way of earning money or buying items yet. This is a beta after all. Home has a lot of potential to be successful. It’s like an mmorpg without the quests, raids and monsters, but add a regular dude in a realistic setting, watching videos in the theatre, playing at the arcades, shopping at the mall, and dancing on the dance floor. When Home will be released, it’s going to have a lot more features and content that’s going to have users addicted.

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