I Don’t Get Home

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Another ambivalent post about a Sony product.

Home (or ‘Second Home’ as it perhaps should be called) is an interesting concept and, as a game in its own right, would probably end up being similar to Animal Crossing. What I don’t get is all the comment going on about how it’s a killer app, combining the best of Xbox Live and the Wii/Mii service.

What I understand is that it’s something akin to Second Life, in which you create your likeness and have your little home, which you can decorate and play around in as you see fit. You get trophies from games that you can place in your trophy cabinet and you can invite people into your apartment to look at your stuff. Other than that, I don’t think I’d be over-simplifying things to say that it’s a GUI for the existing online service.

That’s my problem. For all the flash it’s still an online system that’s missing the fundamental features of Xbox Live. No unified friends list, no cross-title messaging or invites, etc. It unifies the system in that you can meet up with friends in Home and head over to the Motorstorm track or whatever, but that sounds like a pain in the arse next to just starting up a game and inviting your friends from a menu. When I want to start up Word, there’s a reason why I simply click it in the dock rather than come out of my virtual house and run to the Office (see what I did there?) down the virtual street.

In that sense it seems like a smokescreen for the holes in the online infrastructure. It pisses all over the Wii’s system – such as it is – and pretty much already does what we expect the eventual Animal Crossing Wii to do (minus fucking friend codes) and more, but we have a higher benchmark than that. This seems like more of an anti-Nintendo measure for Sony than anything to do with Microsoft, which I suppose might make more sense at the moment given relative sales.

LittleBigPlanet, on the other hand, looks beautiful. That was a decent announcement.

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