Home Gets New Spaces, New Shops

It’s easy to mock the perpetually beta Home, the whole service is teetering on the side of flawed and has been since day one.  But there’s still masses of potential, and Sony at least are still plugging away with trying to make the avatar based 3D chat room a fun one to use but also a viable financial income stream for the company.  So whilst Sony are keen to court publishers and developers with the promise of their own Space (normally restricted to SCEA’s own version of Home, despite Home being a British built piece of software) to bring in the punters they’re also pushing the microtransactions so that we, the Home users, spend our money.

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We got news in yesterday that EA have added another Space to their list of Home areas, this time one based on The Godfather II, which is out for PlayStation 3 this week. The Space will consist mainly of a dimly lit poker table and whilst you won’t be able to use real cash (or even your PlayStation Wallets) we’re pretty sure EA will have made the actual Poker game a decent one.  As long as you can’t ‘dance’ at the table we’ll be happy, although as ever with stuff like this there’s no concrete date for the European version, so we’ll just need to keep our cards close to our chests until we hear otherwise.

And then on to Capcom and their Resident Evil 5 Space, which will get a few tweaks very shortly: a new souvenir shop will be available alongside a cute little mini-game quest.  The first is the perfect example of how Sony are going to make money with Home – these trinkets cost only when being designed and developed, not per unit, so the potential for decent profits from people wanting to make their own avatars and Home Spaces into their own is enormous.  We’re not told what will be in this souvenir shop to buy, but the cynical amongst us might suggest that you’ll need to pay £3.99 for something you probably already should have in your Home originally.  Heating, perhaps, or a bath mat.

If you’re still playing Resident Evil 5, you’ll be genuinely chuffed to learn that three members of the Home community team, CydoniaX, BuggieTechnica and Locust_Star will be sparing you twenty minutes of your time if you fancy some co-op gaming with a real life member of the Home clan.  Between the hours of 3 and 7 Pacific Time next Thursday the trio will be in the Resident Evil 5 Home Space looking for someone to blast through the game with.  If you’re American. If you get in a game, be sure to constantly ask them loads of questions about Home over the microphone, and say “hi” from us.

Finally, TSA regular BioEye has written in to let us know that the SCEE Home hasn’t been left out in the cold with all this US-based news: the Shopping Mall is now hosting lots of adverts suggesting there will be several new shops in the mall coming as early as today.  The first, “Alter Ego”, will sell novelty items like Union Flag and Pirate hats.  The second, “The Original V-Shirt Store” looks set to also open soon with the first purchase for each user being completely free until the 23rd of April, which is a nice gesture for anyone queuing to get into the shop.  The most interesting new store, though, is called “MySoti” with the tagline “By The People, For The People” which whilst sounding pretentiously revolutionary might actually live up to it’s moniker.  Hints that the store will allow users to design their own clothes which, once approved by SCEE, will be available for others to buy.

Naturally we don’t think you’ll get any money back (virtual or otherwise) from your sales but BioEye suggests that seeing your own creations being worn by others will be reward enough, and we’re tempted to agree.  We’ll get on a TSA shirt design as soon as it opens. Expect a Home update later today.

Thanks to BioEye, Mike and the US Blog.

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