Thursday, March 08, 2007

Metaverse Creeps Closer

GDC07 Clip: The PS3's Home - Kotaku

I've been curling my lip about the PS3. Too expensive, full of Blu-Ray (Sony's second stab at Betamax video...) and just... meh.

But now I have seen this video.

I got the feeling, back in the autumn, that Second Life was on to something. That there really was potential in this whole 3d inhabited space, but that somehow Second Life was... incunabular. Not quite there yet. Like the web back in 95, it was clunky, and counterintuitive, and full of really bad folk design.

So it looks like the PS3's Home is now the AOL to Second Life's open server. It'll be the service that takes these worlds mainstream, but possibly ultimately dies as it's (I'm guessing) a walled garden.

But this will be huge. Really, really huge.

I wonder if you need to pay for each bit of downloaded content, or if there will be creation facilities? Hmn...


Anonymous said...

Incunabular, what a great word!

I agree about 2nd Life, it's "not quite there", and it needs a step change to become the thing that it's hyped to be. I don't think it can evolve into it, the fundamental structure isn't capable. That's not to lessen what it's achieved, and what the people use it have achieved within it.

It reminds me a bit of the first MMORPG, "Ultima Online". At the time it was a revelation. A whole living online world! You could own a house and have a job there! People made real money! People got married there!

Over the years it evolved and improved with additions such as 3D graphics. But, ultimately it was stuck with an architecture which couldn't grow. Now it's virtually dead and other MMOs have taken it's place (but they're by no means perfect either).

Unknown said...

This is Sony we're talking about: they only songs you'll be able to listen to will be Sony artists. The only movies you'll see will be Sony properties. The only content you'll be able to buy will be Sony content.

Sony has never, ever, understood the idea of user-generated content. And unlike the walled garden of AOL. this won't let you out to play.

Anonymous said...

I've had the same attitude to the PS3, especially when it looked like UK consumers were going to be royally stuffed over backwards-compatibility to the PS2.

Having seen the PS3 Home, and the whole Sony keynote at the conference, I have to say that my jaw is on the floor - it seems both an obvious extension of the gaming experience, and real way of extending collaboration and communities into games (and into home entertainment in general). It looks like there are content creation tools, but it is unclear whether these are limited to developers.

The other interesting thing is whether it will be possible to bridge the plethora of virtual worlds. On Sony's past history I'd suspect they won't want people moving items from, e.g. SL into Home and back, but they do talk a lot about standards in their presentation - we'll see where that goes.

Anonymous said...

Yes.. I noticed that "open standards" got a tip of the hat in the Sony keynote too, which is encouraging.

I join, oh, everyone, in fearing that while Home might be beautiful it's going to be ultimately frustrating because of not engaging the creativity of the end user.

If Home is an example of "Game 2.0", (and Sony's term "Game 2.0" quite clearly has its roots heavily on the soil of Web 2.0) where's the user generated content? Collaboration is not enough, and creativity is not really being address here.

I wrote about this a little bit on Eightbar recently but was really capturing evidence of the content coming from Sony and the games studios (and not the user) rather than editorialising.

Anonymous said... which I don't mean you are editorialising, but rather that I should have done.