How to Make PlayStation Home More Inviting to Outsiders

PlayStation Home is a fun social experience on the PS3. The thing is, those that haven’t put much – if any – time into it won’t be trying it out anytime soon. The service sits in their XMB, as fun waiting to be had. This is why Home needs to interact better with the PS3, instead of just being that icon in the PlayStation Network tab.  Following are some ways to embed Home with the PS3. PlayStation Plus deserves some exclusivity here, as the cost of membership should go toward such benefits.

Home avatar bust as PSN profile (Plus Exclusive)
There are over 20 available avatar slots in Home.  Designate one “PSN”, and save any avatar to that slot.  The bust already displayed when selecting avatars in Home would be used as a PSN profile avatar.  The player would just go to the account options to select an avatar, and choose the Home icon to use the one synced with their Home account.  This service would sync with Home and would be exclusive to Plus members.

Animated Home avatar in Home XMB dynamic theme

This guy would be an imposing presence on your XMB

The Home avatar saved to the PSN slot would also be used as a theme.  How so?  All players would have the option to select “Home” as a theme.  Doing so would place that active avatar in the lower left of the XMB, away from the tabs and columns.  The default background would be the dynamic background used in the Home wardrobe screen, of Home icons moving about the screen.

Here’s the next step toward integration through use of themes: Personal Space wallpapers in the Home section of the PlayStation Store.  Personal Spaces are locations players can purchase and customize with various items obtained in Home.  I happen to be partial to the Post-Apocalyptic Shelter Personal Space.  Every personal space will have a wallpaper in the form of a screenshot available for free in the PlayStation Store . This will show players all the available personal spaces, and players would be able to use them in conjunction with their Home avatar.

Trophies for Home games
While the service itself is free, not all games in Home are.  They are what is called, “freemium”, that is, free to play to a certain extent.  Each game that is purchased by players should come with trophies.  Some players are wild about trophies.  Home has some quality games that need a broader audience.  My favorite game is still Salt Shooter, found in Sodium One – a gaming environment within Home.

Bronze trophies would be displayed in the middle
 

Trophies are also something Home advertised in the form of trophy rooms, to show off PS3 game trophies.  This hasn’t happened, so a fair compromise could be a display case to show one trophy of each type.  These would represent what the player has earned, and would be displayed in an Olympic podium-type of layout.  Once a platinum is earned, a platinum trophy will take up the formerly vacant spot.  If two platinum trophies are earned, a “x2” will appear beneath the trophy.  This trophy display case would be the same size for each player, only changing once a trophy of each type is earned, and displaying the number of each type.  Visiting the personal space of someone that has a lot of trophies would show a trophy case with some high numbers.

Home Update Videos Featured in PlayStation Store and Pulse

 
 

Routine weekly updates on the PlayStation blog feature lengthy descriptions and videos.  These videos should be added to each week’s PlayStation Store update.  Every other week, Christina Lee hosts Pulse – a video service talking about the latest in all things PlayStation.  Home needs to be a part of this video program.  If Pulse keeps people up to date, it should reflect how new content is constantly added to Home.

The social gaming platform on the PlayStation 3 is successful, but more players should look into all that it offers.  Many haven’t looked into it in months, if not years, and have not seen the changes it has gone through.  These suggestions would improve the service, but Home is already entertaining and available on the PS3 right now.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07426710917331677790 Richard Dixon

    Great article. Its a fantastic service and If you have not tried Playstation Home in a while then its well worth trying it again, a lot has changed and in a really cool way.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13710192812902798060 Paranoimia

    I haven’t used Home in over a year now. I’m not against it at all – I even spent a fair amount of money on items. But I just lost interest, and removed it from my PS3.

    The updates suggested here may go some way to attracting some previous users back, and maybe even attracting some new users. But I don’t think I’d ever go back to it unless it received a major overhaul to practically every part of it.

    Last time I used it, it took way too long to get anything new and we were always well behind the US, and it was frequently the case that what wasn’t free was vastly over-priced. The final straw for me was when a bug destroyed the layout of everything in my various apartments.

    They really need another Xi, though. That for me was the biggest highlight of Home. The games were fun and the collaboration between PlayStation communities all over the world was fantastic. Nothing since has matched it.

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