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Sony Clarifies Details About PS3 Home 64

Posted by Zonk
from the out-and-about dept.
Ars Technica's Opposable Thumbs blog has a few new details on the future of the Home project, as gleaned from the ThreeSpeech website. Among the tidbits of information: they'll be rolling out the service slowly, ramping up the number of servers as gradually as possible. They're really looking to make money with this, via advertising and microtransactions. And they're not really worried about porn. "For instance, a casino or even somewhere you can go and see 18-rated trailers for games. That isn't anything particularly sinister, but obviously, you'd have to prevent 12-year-olds going in there. Obviously, there are other 18-plus areas that you could imagine, but some of those might not come to fruition."
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Sony Clarifies Details About PS3 Home

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  • Never happen (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Reason58 (775044) on Friday September 14, 2007 @05:07PM (#20609933)
    Areas requiring the user to be 18 will earn this game an AO rating. It will never happen.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DrXym (126579)
      Areas requiring the user to be 18 will earn this game an AO rating. It will never happen.

      I see plenty of AO content every time I browse the internet. Some sites, including game sites ask my age everytime I view a clip. If they can exist without a rating, why do you assume that some Sony service cannot. Especially when it proactively attempts to enforce age restrictions unlike most websites.

      • by Hangin10 (704729)
        Which is rather broken considering how often I'm able to tell those things that I'm over 100 years old. If I can be ancient, a 12 year old can be 23.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DrXym (126579)
          It sounds like you've identified a far more broken model than Sony. It's not unreasonable to think that Sony could proactively enforce 18+ by requiring the person to hold a PSN account that has made at least 1 credit card transaction. They could even require a user to enter some nominal transaction such as 1c to enter a site for the first time. While it isn't impossible for some kid to have faked their parent's credit card details, I think Sony would have a reasonable defence if they they were sued because
          • by KDR_11k (778916)
            Considering that Home "game" will have microtransactions there are many legitimate uses for a credit card so it's not inconceivable that a kid could get a parent to use their credit card.

            Though it's really hypocritical to forbid the release of AO games on the platform and then offer an online portal with actual porn.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by DrXym (126579)
              PSN doesn't require a credit card on every account. You can have a master account (the parent's account) that can add funds to sub accounts (the kids). So even if Home had micro transactions, there is no need for a kid to have a credit card to use it. Sub accounts can also be age restricted by the master account so that they can't play inappropriate content, whether it is games, movies or (I assume) Home zones. So it's really about parental responsibility.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ucblockhead (63650)
      It's not a game and will thus not be rated at all.
      • It's not a game and will thus not be rated at all.
        Isn't that like saying Second Life or Habbo Hotel or The Sims or Animal Crossing is "not a game"? Or do I fundamentally misunderstand Home?
        • It is Sony's answer to "XBox Live", with more interesting avatars.
        • by imr (106517)
          You fundamentally misunderstand home.
          It's not a game it's an interface to social functions, games being one of them.
          So, some of those functions can be games, but the interface itself is not one.
          It can't be bought, it's included in the console, so it isnt even a stand alone product.
          The only one near it in your list is second life.
          Let's call them social interfaces.
    • Re:Never happen (Score:4, Insightful)

      by king-manic (409855) on Friday September 14, 2007 @05:24PM (#20610151)
      Areas requiring the user to be 18 will earn this game an AO rating. It will never happen.

      The reason why AO games don't occur is because big box stores like Walmart/Best buy have taken it upon themselves to act as a moral agent of their customers and limit more controversial content. Doing so proactively to avoid hassles with their predominantly older and more conservative customer base. Sony's online store is currently and likely permanently populated by a younger more liberal crowd (all 6 of us). They may be able to get away with adult content with ID tied to credit card or some other verification method (you must be 18 for a credit card so user with a registered one is fine. )
      • by Reason58 (775044)

        you must be 18 for a credit card so user with a registered one is fine
        You can get a debit card well under 18 years of age.
        • As far as I know you can differentiate a debit card from a credit card from a pre-paid credit card. They have different number spaces.
          • by Zekasu (1059298)
            You can differentiate the two, but it's not of particular importance to do so, if that's what you mean.

            The reason being that you can get a Debit card (In America) from Bank of America at the age of 16, and I'm sure you could get one at an ealier age if it were in your parent's name.

            Either way, what's to stop a 12 year-old from stealing his mom's credit card out of his purse? Or recieving permission to visit AO-related areas from his parent(s)?
            • You can differentiate the two, but it's not of particular importance to do so, if that's what you mean.

              The reason being that you can get a Debit card (In America) from Bank of America at the age of 16, and I'm sure you could get one at an ealier age if it were in your parent's name.

              Either way, what's to stop a 12 year-old from stealing his mom's credit card out of his purse? Or recieving permission to visit AO-related areas from his parent(s)?/i>

              The difference is if you need a age validation allow only p
          • As far as I know you can differentiate a debit card from a credit card from a pre-paid credit card. They have different number spaces.
            And lose customers. I know plenty of grown-ups who have a driver's license (or other state-issued ID) and debit card but have sworn off credit cards after having climbed out of debt. Or are there enough customers who are willing to apply for credit cards just to view mature, not-yet-rated, or individually published content?
            • And lose customers. I know plenty of grown-ups who have a driver's license (or other state-issued ID) and debit card but have sworn off credit cards after having climbed out of debt. Or are there enough customers who are willing to apply for credit cards just to view mature, not-yet-rated, or individually published content?

              Age verification and prevention of lawsuits trumps catering to a demographic which have financial troubles or refuse to use major credit cards. Their numbers are smaller then you think as
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Conception (212279)
      Actually, if you've never seen it before, they'll just do what every other game that touches the net does:

      ESRB Notice: Game Experience May Change During Online Play
    • Isn't that like saying that web sites requiring the user to be 18 will earn your web browser an AO rating?
       
    • by gravis777 (123605)
      Um, PS3 home is an online game, right? All you got to do is slap it with a Teen rating, which will tell people that its not a Disney Toontown game, then slap an ERSB warning on it saying that Game Experience may change online.

      Interesting, though, doesn't Sony say that they will not grant licenses to games that rate worse than MA? So yeah, just slap the above ERSB warning lable on it, and then Sony can release all the adult oriented crap they want.

      Hey, people are claiming that the porn industry went with HD-
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865)
      It's sad that at the age of 30, I am still forced by industry and society to have the content and entertainment I consume dumbed down to the acceptability level of a fourth grade child.
      • It's sad that at the age of 30, I am still forced by industry and society to have the content and entertainment I consume dumbed down to the acceptability level of a fourth grade child.
        All major video gaming platforms, except perhaps V.Smile and Leapster, allow software products designed exclusively for "mature" audiences. Would you want a fourth-grade child exposed to the Grand Theft Auto III trilogy or Manhunt 2?
        • Are you referring to the content filtered version of Manhunt 2, or the original version that will never be published?
          • by tepples (727027)

            Are you referring to the content filtered version of Manhunt 2
            To expand the post fully: Would you want the median fourth-grade child exposed to the content of Grand Theft Auto III (rated M), Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (rated M), Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (rated M), or Manhunt 2 (rated M)?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 14, 2007 @05:45PM (#20610361)
    I think people are just grasping how long and how extensive Home is. Sony says they have been working on Home since the start of the PS2 development and if you go back and read interviews over the past 5-7 years you can actually see them talking about what would later be called Home. It's funny to see some of the reactions people had to Sony's 'crazy online world talk'.

    The amount of effort must be staggering when you look at Home and the roadmap Sony has talked about for the PS3 over the next five years. Home is built on or will implement:

    * The base MMORPG engine - the basis for home for world rendering, avatar management, and all the other things that every game like EQ and WoW implement for allowing people to exist in a virtual world

    * The video streaming technology - I believe Sony bought a video streaming company some time back. In home videos are streaming all over the place. Both from Sony's servers and in PS3 owner's personal video collection.

    * The whole avatar customization tech Sony has so far is the most extensive I've seen - it is weird to be able to make avatars that look exactly like you or see your friends actually running around in a virtual world

    * All of the social games they have and will be adding to Home - bowling, video game cabinets, pool just to start. Tons more sound like they are planned ahead

    * The party system for meeting people inside of Home and then all being able to jump into a multiplayer PS3 game together and then all return to the same spot in Home.

    * The support for game companies(and actually anyone) to create custom spaces. All you need is a copy of Maya and the Sony Home export tools to create your company's own space inside of Home. EA, Activision, and any other developer or publisher can easily take existing game art and tag surfaces to stream videos of their games or whatever they want up on the wall and create virtual stores for their games. Custom third party spaces in Home are essentially live 3D webpages for companies.

    * The support for clans. You should be able to setup space for you gaming clans to all have your own custom space that is decked out in whatever theme your clan wants. A place for everyone to meet up before and after matches. Streaming videos of matches and screenshots an images up on the walls

    * Online stores - in addition to game companies Sony is saying they are setting things up for anyone to setup of stores or other types of non-game related places inside of Home

    * Movie streaming and downloads - watch movies right inside of Home with friends or see streaming clips of movies and buy them to download to your PS3 right there in Home. Or go watch movie previews just like in theaters

    I'm sure there is more. Sony says they will be constantly updating Home just like they do with the PS3's firmware which they put out about once a month updates.

    Free online gaming for everyone
    Dedicated servers for games
    Home

    Sony is kicking some serious ass in online console gaming.

    • by lexarius (560925)
      Sounds like Second Life. SL is a great idea with a horrible implementation. If Sony can do it better, then great. With their current track record, though, I would fully expect them to make a marvelous technical wonder and then slap on some draconian Evil Shit(TM) or other random nonsense (Only $70/month!) which would make it a complete turnoff. I'll be impressed if they manage not to screw it up. I intend to purchase a PS3 or two for purely research purposes (though I might just spring for a real Cell Blade
      • It not only sounds like SL it even looks like SL, only better. I saw a screenshot a couple of days ago where a female avatar looked like she was wearing an improved version of some SL skins. Kind of like a RaC or RealSKINS skin, only without the shading issues photosourced skins often have in SL. Personally I'm hoping Sony will allow/support user created fashion content. Last I heard, "Home" itself will be free to use.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kazzahdrane (882423)
      I actually modded your post up as Informative but then felt I'd rather reply, so apologies for not helping!

      The tone of your post could easily come across as a Sony fanboy spewing out PR talk but frankly it all sound very interesting, and you seem genuinely excited by Home and what it offers. I am too, in theory. I just wonder how much Sony are going to charge for the content and features for Home, and also how many people are really going to use it beyond "see you in Home to form a group for Call of Duty
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by DeepHurtn! (773713)
      Sony is kicking some serious ass in online console gaming.

      While everything else you say may be true, this is just wishful thinking at this point. Home isn't out yet. Nobody owns a PS3. It's holiday lineup is anemic. Right now Sony has a *plan* to *try* and kick "some serious ass in online console gaming" but they haven't done squat yet.

      • by Brigade (974884)
        I camped out for my launch PS2. I loved it and was a dedicated Sony Fanboi.

        Then I watched as hubris overtook, and turned my back on them (as I felt that they did to me). I continued to listen to the "PR Speak" and "Marketing" and refused to believe them, and I've saved myself $600 in the process.

        We've tread over this path before: Sony has been ALL about "selling the technology" and giving consumers the "sound bite," but they've cried "wolf" too many times for this gamer to swallow the bait.

        Does Hom
        • Turbo-Graphics had superior graphics, sound, and a CD-ROM add-on during the cartridge-based days, and they were crushed.

          The PC Engine sold well in Japan, but in North America, the TurboGrafx-16 fell victim to superior tech released shortly after its launch. (Compare the later Dreamcast.)

          For one thing, the Sega Genesis was better in some ways than the TG16. The Genesis's 32-bit MC68000 CPU on a 16-bit bus could process game logic faster than the 8-bit 65C02-based CPU of the TG16. The Genesis's VDP could display two background layers, unlike the TG16 that relied on the same sprite- and raster-based parallax scrolling [wikipedia.org] met

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by NeutronCowboy (896098)
      What's with the AC who consistently shills for Sony in nearly all game-related threads - certainly all console-hardware related threads? They are actually cut-and-past jobs.

      Right now, no one's really seen home in action. Most of the bullet points listed by the AC are nothing but unsubstantiated marketing drivel (this applies to his posts about home, online games and games in general). In short - every last one of these AC posts is pure drivel.

      I find Home interesting, but right now, it's nothing but empty pr
    • by Fross (83754)
      What is Home, aside from Second Life with a better graphics engine, and less user generated content?

      You "only" need Maya to make content. So that's, what, $150? Plus the PC to use it on. And mastery of an insanely complicated development environment. Second Life only has the attraction it does because people can *easily* make content for it. Playing online pool and watching videos? What's wrong with youtube and countless existing facebook plugins or flash sites?

      I don't see what the attraction for Home
      • by tepples (727027)

        You "only" need Maya to make content. So that's, what, $150?
        Which edition of Maya software are you talking about? Maya Complete shows up as $1,999 for me [autodesk.com]. Or how are you trying to estimate the fraction of players who make content?
      • I don't have a PS3 or a 360 for that matter. And no I'm not a Second Lifer, but I don't understand the knee-jerk reaction of deriding something that's so "like Second Life." Ignoring the odder antisocialites that parade around Linden's little world and looking at what Second Life is aiming for just ask yourself what's so bad about that? When I first heard about Second Life I was pretty shocked that anyone was even trying that sort of thing as I thought, and still do think, that the tech for it is still some
    • So marketing people from Sony can't bother even making fake accounts on Slashdot now?

      Maybe this AC is just a fanboy but, honestly, this is so much empty marketing crap. So, in the interest of equal time, lets talk about A World of Your Own! [awomo.com]

      The amount of effort must be staggering to create a system as good as Sony's Home, but release it sooner:... [awomo.com]

    • by toolie (22684)
      So what you are saying is when your console has no games worth a shit and Christmas is coming up, implement a SL clone to try to get people to buy your console. I just got Heavenly Sword last night, so that may be a game worth a shit, we'll find out over the next few days.
  • Obviously, there are other 18-plus areas that you could imagine, but some of those might not come to fruition.

    In other words, we're going to close our eyes, cover our ears and pray for the best.

    If the ESRB went after TES: Oblivion for "nude" add-ons for the PC only and GTA3: SA for an accessable only by hacking portion of the game, theres going to be hell to pay if Sony's PS3 Home gets anything less than a M or AO rating.

    • by trdrstv (986999)

      If the ESRB went after TES: Oblivion for "nude" add-ons for the PC only and GTA3: SA for an accessable only by hacking portion of the game, theres going to be hell to pay if Sony's PS3 Home gets anything less than a M or AO rating.

      Actually no. If it gets any rating it would likely be "E for Everyone" with the disclaimer 'Game Expeiance may change during online play". I doubt there will be anything "Mature" in Home or the toolset, but what the community does with it, may end up on that side.

  • by atari2600 (545988) on Friday September 14, 2007 @07:29PM (#20611425)
    Sheer genius and easy on the eyes. Which genius came up with that idea? JFC.
  • HD porn would make the purchase completely justified in my view :-P
    • by Lisandro (799651)
      HD porn would make the purchase completely justified in my view

      It depends, you know. It's all nice and dandy until you start noticing zits in an ass closeup!
    • by Sabathius (566108)
      Got you covered, brother. Blu-ray Porn [dvdempire.com]
    • Why don't you go out and actually get laid for once in your life instead? $600 would surely buy you the services of a decent prostitute.
      • by Ang31us (1132361)
        LOL; that's hilarious!!! Clearly, God's intelligent design created CraigsList so that I don't have to spend money to get laid.

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