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Phil Harrison reveals new Home details, including privacy and safety features

Ross Miller
03.13.07
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MTV News' Stephen Totilo has managed to glean new details from Sony's Phil Harrison on their megaton PlayStation 3 announcement, Home, in a video interview (after the break) and accompanying Multiplayer post (scroll down to yesterday's entry).

The initial plan with Home is to start with apartments for users, then go on to outdoors, houses, gardens, neighborhoods. Currently, 16 people will be allowed in one apartment at any given time, although that limit is being tweaked. As for lobbies, which will be "infinitely spawned by the number of users online," 64 will be the limit. A search function will be included to help users find their friends online.

As to concerns whether the social aspect of Home will take away from time spent gaming, Harrison sees that as a non-issue. "I think that you shouldn't lose sight that home is all about games and creating social interaction between gamers ... [Home is] a springboard to a deeper gaming experience," he said.

Also mentioned was that no collision detection would be implemented, so users will likely just walk through one another. While that should eliminate problems associated with crowds, it also reduces the options for those who wish to use their avatars for naughtier means.

Gallery: PlayStation Home | 38 Photos



Harrison outlined their current policies on privacy and safety to semi-official blog Three Speech. Private spaces will not be monitored, although complaints can be filed if a user feels he or she has been subjected to unwanted, inappropriate behavior. There will be a profanity filter for public areas and players who are not of a certain age will have their text and voice capabilities turned off. Of course, that's dependent upon whether the child gives an honest birth date; we're willing to bet local news organizations are going to go crazy over what they'll call "a virtual world of sex in your living room."

Other tidbits from Totilo and Three Speech:

  • PSP remote access has been considered, as has been moving the online avatar into real games.
  • The motion control of the Sixaxis will be used for to simulate virtual actions such as gestures for waving and bowing.
  • Third-party developers are being worked with for in-Home projects.
  • Sony is looking at having trophies for PSP games
  • A future goal is to let users transition seamlessly from Home into a disc-based game, such as Motorstorm.
Home is expected for release, for free, this Fall.

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