Home Director Jack Buser delivered a state-of-the-software address while walking me through the new Home spaces announced this morning.
Far from being concerned by the fact that not all PlayStation 3 owners make use of Home, Buser was excited that so many people have even tried it at all. "We came so close to setting a concurrency record," he gushed. "The media is not groking how amazing the usage level is [on Home.]"
For those of you who don't know much about computer science or Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, what Buser is going on about has to do with the potential that Home has to interact with other software — the PlayStation Network, Twitter, you name it. For example, the Home team recently rolled out an update that enables game launching of all PS3 titles from directly within Home. Also, they've developed connections between the PSN, the PSP Go and Home that have the ability to talk to each other.
So while Buser declined to announce any plans to somehow integrate the PSP Go directly into Home, he very enthusiastically said that the potential is there.
Potential, he said, is what drives Home's expansion. The potential is there for developers to build spaces that connect with the fans. The potential is there for fans to demand things from developers. To that end, says Buser, if you want to see something in Home… ask for it.
Right now there are over 50 spaces in Home, public and private. There are 1000 virtual items to be bought or earned and the service has hosted over 200 community events where you can win real things like collectors editions of video games. All it takes to enjoy any of that is a PSN account and maybe a little tolerance for updates and evolving content distribution systems. Home is still technically in open beta, after all.
I for one would like to see a Valkyria Chronicles space and a Tales of Vesperia space. I also want some soft of transmogrifier that will turn my realistic-looking avatar into something more appropriately anime for those spaces. That was the one thing I didn't like about the Ratchet & Clank space — it didn't look like you belonged there because you weren't cartoon-y enough.
Also, I really wish they'd open up the building editor to users instead of just developers. If I could build a palace that was just mine, I might form a stronger attachment to my virtual identity in Home than I do from walking around a cookie-cutter-made living space that every other user could easily have. But that's just me.
What do you want to see in Home?