A few days ago, I spent a couple of hours in Playstation Home on my PS3. I wanted to see what it would be like to watch and episode of Full Metal Alchemist in the theatre there. On that point, I was a bit disappointed because Playstation Home doesn’t have a proper first person view such as found in any FPS or MMORPG game. As a result, I had to watch looking over my own shoulder, only satisfying to the consumate narcissus!
Unfortunately, narcissism, mine at least, is a little hard to satisfy in Home because the avatars are just so darn creepy looking. Part of it is the design, which could be fixed if Sony would just rip off Square Enix’s beautiful Final Fantasy models. Right now, even Second Life avatars look better and at least in SL, the user can greatly improve this. The other part though is the way the avatars move and carry themselves. It’s just very unnatural and robotic, which is fine for robots, but not something that purports to represent humans. The Wii and Xbox Live avatars are much better in this respect.
Aesthetics aside, I decided to go to the mall and see what clothing I could find to dress up my little doll. Again I was disappointed. The store interface really leaves me flat, literally. You don’t enter a store when you walk in. Instead you go to a flat display of the items. The pictures representing the different clothes don’t do justice to them and to make things worse, if you select an item, only a small selection shows your avatar wearing it. Please Sony, just copy Xbox Live on this point! What self respecting female avatar can shop for clothes without trying them on?
In the end, I bought a few items before returning to my apartment. On my next foray I may play with the avatar editing tool some more before going out on a more general tour to try out a few mini-games. I know Home is still in beta, but I would have hoped that the look would have improved by now.