Five things to know about PlayStation Home

Sony has unleashed its social gaming experiment out to the masses. Here are five pointers so you can blag your way through that conversation in the pub.

You'll need plenty of space on your hard drive
The initial download might only be 77MB to get you started, however you'll need plenty more space on your hard drive if you're going to get the most out of Home. The setup asks for a further 3077MB (that's over 3GB) of storage space on your hard drive and then as you enter different areas in the world you've got more downloading to do. If you're on a limited download package with your ISP, you'll need to change this pronto if you are planning to spend any time in Home.

The world is fairly limited at the mo
While the potential of Home is massive, currently there are just six zones you can roam around in; your harbour side flat, your summer retreat (that will set you back £3.99), Home square, the bowling alley where you can go bowling and play arcade games, a cinema where you can watch movie trailers and shopping centre where you can buy stuff. Teasing of a better world to come, there is a glass door with a set of escalators behind it - at the moment that door is shut.

You'll do a lot of wandering around
It might be small but that doesn't mean you can't spend your time walking around looking at all the other people walking around. Most of the areas have multiple floors and the shopping centre for example has - strangely enough - shops that you can browse. Luckily you can teleport from one location to the other, no doubt handy later on when the world is considerably bigger.

Make friends and influence people
Talking is really easy in Home, press the triangle on your controller and you can say what you like, although typing via your controller is very slow. This can be speeded up either via the Message Pad or talking via a headset and for the common phrases like "hello" and "goodbye" you can press another button. Unfortunately you can't pre-save your own favourite phrases. Talk to someone enough and just like real life you can make friends so you can meet up next time. With pre-programmed responses, the most common, and fun, seems to be dancing. Everyone is doing it. We've never seen a bunch of guys dancing to a PlayStation advert before, well until now.

Launch game sessions
There is a point to Home, bar just wandering around and dancing, the idea is that you meet up with fellow gamers and play proper games together. It's like one big chat room, or drinks before you head to the pub. Whether it will eventually pan out like that or just become a Second Life for the PS3 is still too early to tell.


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