PS Home is a social network created by SONY in 2008 and lasted up until its closure in 2015. The idea was to give players a way to interact with other gamers in a sort-of Sims-way, but adds a lot of customization like the Animal Crossing series as well. Of course, many developers also dipped their toes into this really interesting mash-up. There were also MANY different spaces (kind of like chat-rooms back in the day) that was themed different with each one. Also, Europe and Asia had their own versions albeit they had different spaces than each other.
Gameplay is rather easy, once you start it up, Home introduces you to an avatar (a character that you can edit) and gives you your first private space (Harbour Studio) in that, the game gives a quick tutorial over how the game works with walking around, messing in your inventory and wardrobe (though you’ll be pretty bare bones at first). Then it sends you to the Hub (yeah, it used to be Central Plaza, but I joined in 2012 so I was a bit late to the party) and you’ll finally get your first experience with what Home is all about, socializing. Really from this point on, you get to choose what to do (from making new friends, to buying stuff, to even traveling to other spaces to start off. Really, Home is what you make of it and the choices are infinite. Along the way you’ll get items to customize your avatar with and Locomotions (which makes your character faster or gives you more dances)…so much!
As time grew on, Home kept being updated with new things to do or more things to buy (I wouldn’t try to get all of them because it grew to high amounts). Plus there was glitching and ending up with free stuff.
Once clubs became a thing, a new idea, fams started to happen…they really were cliques within the game and most of the time the people were trying too hard and being “the best” there ever was, but for people it was easy to make friends with (though just as easy to lose them too).
Add in minigames through most of the spaces and you’ve got a LOT to do.
Graphics / Sound
- Graphics – While I wouldn’t pair it next to gorgeous games like Uncharted and Final Fantasy XIII, Home felt more like it had PS2 graphics which isn’t so bad and the various spaces really take control of the colors which meant it wasn’t boring to look at considering how much of it there was. Some companies (like Granzella) took advantage and made REALLY pretty spaces whereas something like the Hudson Gate was vivid and brightly colored to the dark and dingy SIREN space. The items and private spaces also had a lot of cool detail especially the clothing (there was just so many though!). The avatar themselves look pretty basic, unless you take the time to edit and mess around with it.
- Sound – When it came to sound, it bounced back and forth. The Hub features songs, but they’re of indie artists and fused a lot of pop, hip-hop, rock, and electro (but sounding almost bland after a while). Some of the other spaces do have licensed music (Konami Penthouse & SIREN for example had songs from their games). I think what disappointed was the lack of choice of having your own music (in your private space) I feel like that was a huge loss and would’ve made sense to include (especially you can buy a free radio, but stuck with a selection of songs from LOOT).
Of course there was weekly updates and with that came technically DLC with additions of WAY MORE items and clothing on top of adding in new spaces and private spaces as well (even clubs). To be honest, I never spent too much on the stuff (and when the final months were happening, they were releasing a BUNCH of free stuff).
While I’m pretty sad to see SONY close Home down (due to the company focusing their ideas with the PS4), Home was a pretty amazing experience (well for the 3 1/2 years I was active). There was so much to do and I don’t think I ever completed everything there was to do, but that’s because Home was a social experiment. I mean yeah, there were people who’d troll or lie or even steal on there, but the friends you did make and see so much on Home last forever so that I commend SONY for pulling this off.
There would’ve been so much more I would’ve talked about, but that would just make this a hard read xD. Let’s just say I had fun while it was active.