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GDC: PlayStation Home - what GDC thinks

Discussion and reaction to Sony's recently-announced PlayStation Home has been rampant at the Games Developers Conference, with most excited and dying to dive into Sony's virtual world, while others are skeptical whether the service goes deep enough (mostly Nintendo and Microsoft employees).

We roamed the GDC halls to get a quick reaction to the PS3 Second Life-alike, and here's what our victims had to say...

Cliff Bleszinski, lead designer, Epic Games:

"I think PlayStation Home is very cool. This kind of pseudo Second Life-style setup and having a virtual space that I can call my own and invite my friends to hang out in - it's neat stuff. Taking an interface in a 3D direction is always a good thing in my opinion."

Nintendo spokesperson:

"This is an example of Sony's 'Mii-too' approach. But as Mr. Miyamoto states, Nintendo years ago considered and rejected the type of approach Sony is now taking"

Chris Satchell, general manager, Microsoft Developer Group:

"I think LittleBigPlanet is very cool. It's a very cool game and it's got a cool user-generated content feature but I can't see a big portfolio of games at the moment that do this. I don't think there's a whole load to catch up.

I think they've definitely taken some concepts that we originated like Achievements, but I think they're pushing in a different direction and we've sort of fundamentally got two different approaches going on here. I think there's is very much a vision that people see it and it looks cool but it's fundamentally separate from the games - or at least what they've shown so far.

So you've got an environment where I don't have a unified community, I don't have unified Achievements, I have to leave the experience to go back and see all that stuff - it's not an approach that's consistent; It's like some games will do it, some games won't, some games have Achievements but they don't have to have Achievements.

It's not a very game-centric approach. It's a cool world but it's like a little game by itself. Our approach is the other way around; that games are the center and that's the star of the show, that's what people buy the console for."

Chris Taylor, CEO, Gas Powered Games:

"From what I heard, it sounds great. If I've got a 3D avatar, a world, a house and all this kind of stuff - that sounds awesome! First I'd like to see it myself with my own eyes but conceptually from what was described to me it sounds cool. It sounds really cool."

Coffee ladies, GDC North hall:

"It's great."

"Home? Sorry, I'm too old."


Thanks to all of our participants including the GDC coffee ladies.  Mmmm, banana bread!

March 9, 2007

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