Forget creepy men dressing up as bald avatars and following the nearest female avatar. Forget being virtually stalked by some freak who doesn’t speak your language. Say hello to one of the new developments for the future of PlayStation Home: Pets. Robotic Pets. Yes, that’s an inorganic imitation of a real pet as a virtual pet running on your electronic machine following your virtual avatar of your real self. It sounds a little mad, but it’s actually pretty cool.
Sony recently held a presentation about the future of PlayStation Home over in Japan, and revealed some developer prototypes for possible uses and additions to the online world. Masami Kando, Home Developer, hosted the presentation, beginning by announcing that there are now 7.9 million accounts on Home, doubling the initial figures from December 2008.
New features that are being worked on include accessing the PlayStation Store within Home, which would be in addition to the current Shopping Centre. It’s suggested that we’ll be downloading demos and launching into them from Home. The tech demos began by showing a media player for your personal apartment, which could be accessed by you and anyone else you’ve invited over. This player could stream internet radio and podcasts, and play videos – with just adverts used as examples.
A second tech demo, apparently thrown together within five days, was a robotic pet. The pet will remain in your apartment, and unfortunately no suggestions were made that you could take it for walkies around the Home Square. The player could call the pet over as it walked around the apartment or scold it to tell it off. The pet, looking like a small television on legs, could also give information to the user on demand. The robot expressed emotions by drawing the appropriate face on its screen, and would react depending on the situation it was placed in.
These were just tech demos remember, so there’s no promise that they’ll ever come to fruition. However, with time and money being spent on designing new ways for the player to interact with Home, there’s always hope that we’ll see something come from these ideas before the end of the year.