NCSoft: Home Probably Won’t Move Systems

GamesIndustry.biz asked NCSoft’s Thomas Bidaux what he thought of Sony’s HOME service. His reply?

“I think Home is very interesting, but I want to see how people use it. Again – content. If there is an incentive for people to go into Home, beyond just customising their avatar, then it will be very, very good. If there is no incentive, then it will remain quite limited.

One of the limitations is linked to the PlayStation 3 – so the success of Home is 100 per cent tied to the PS3’s penetration into the market.

I don’t think you can say you will sell more PS3s because of Home, but if the PS3 had the right penetration in the market, then yes – Home will be very interesting.”

It’s true that HOME is still something of an anomaly right now. I stand fast by my stance that it will not get systems into the hands of consumers by itself. Nobody’s going to walk into a store, see the Playstation sitting right next to a 360 and Wii and say, “Oh, I’ll get that one, because it has that cool social networking sort of thing, and that’s what I’ve always wanted out of my gaming console.”

No, HOME needs to be used as a tool, not as a marketing device. Integration and delivering a constant stream of content are absolutely key, and if it’s done right, there’s a good chance it’ll keep gamers hooked on the system. But that’s only after they’ve already bought it. Limited user reports citing a lack of things to do and few changes in terms of content over the beta period don’t infuse me with much confidence. That, and Sony’s own track record with providing fare for their existing network, PSN (again and again, where the hell are the PSOne games?), could spell trouble for the service.

I just really hope that it remains focused on gaming: trailers for games, hosted tournaments, visual customization for clans and gaming groups, specialized costumes featuring game characters, user-generated content, developer interaction, quality parlor diversions, the god-forsaken trophy room, and most importantly, the ability to invite or join friends in games through the HOME interface.

Go above and beyond what other services, like XBL, offer in terms of gaming, and you might have yourself a winner. Attempt to distract people with over-saturated marketing and doucherocket avatars, and you won’t. This isn’t Hipster Training.

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~ by Cavin Smith on October 17, 2007.

6 Responses to “NCSoft: Home Probably Won’t Move Systems”

  1. i love your take on this drone. thats why your on my blogroll.

  2. Thanks for the compliments. For small-timers like me, about all I *can* do is give my opinion.

  3. yep…i just link to your articles cause you have a better take on news than i do. you getting any refers from my blog?

  4. sorry, wasnt logged in

  5. Ahh, well, I’m glad someone appreciates them. 🙂

    Yes, I have gotten a few refers from your blog, and I wanted to thank you for that.

  6. did you get my email?

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