Monday, December 22, 2008

Playstation Home fails to impress

In typical Playstation 3 anti-playing, I've not had a good experience with Home so far. As usual, the download was slow so I let it run and did other things. A couple days later when I realized I had left the PS3 on, I found that I needed yet another update to use Home. More waiting, less playing. This seems to be PS3 mantra at this point. Can they really not make updates go as smoothly and quickly as they do on Xbox Live? It's been an irritation since the PS3 stepped into the scene.

Anyway, after that was done, I finally jumped into the character creator. There were plenty of options for distorting what should be a human into something personal. Alas, many of the options took 20 seconds or more to load, leaving a bunch of option boxes with only question marks. This doesn't bode well for the impatient that are just trying to mock up a representation of themselves quickly.

After giving up on further customization, I proceeded. My character was thrust into a beach side apartment filled with some couches, chairs and tables. And you can *gasp*, sit on them. Experimentation with the menus revealed some awkward dancing and gestures that provided several minutes of amusement. Once that wore off, I tried to go out the front door.

The Main Plaza was another 20MB download. Sony must be under the assumption that users won't have an interest in leaving their virtual cave? It didn't make much sense to require the main area of Home be a separate download. The wait for the Home download is already long (on a 7Mb down), so why not just lump it together?

I've tried downloading the Main Plaza twice. The first time, there was never an indication it finished when background downloading. The second time, the PS3 froze half-way into the download; I couldn't even pull up the XMB. I had to do a hard shutdown. That was enough for me.


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