While chatting with videogame journalist Steve Boxer during the recent Edinburgh Interactive Festival, Peter Edward, director of the PlayStation Home Platform Group, and Jamie McDonald, VP of Sony Worldwide Studios revealed some rather interesting morsels related to Sony’s eagerly anticipated virtual life experience Home.
Specifically, while Edward touched on the fact that Home is currently still in its closed beta stage and Sony is looking to “escalate the [user] numbers in a controlled fashion” rather than simply “opening the floodgates on day one and letting everybody in,” he also intimated that the Home experience will include some user areas subject to age restrictions.
When asked whether Home will contain any areas where entrance is governed strictly by age (namely 18 and older), Edward replied that there probably won’t be that many cropping up in Home’s short term existence, “but in the long-term, we expect to see them.”
The Home Platform Group director then suggested that while nothing sinister (read: pornographic or illegal) is likely to appear in Sony’s world, it is possible that the odd casino could pop up or perhaps movie theatres where users could go to watch mature-rated videogame trailers.
Acknowledging that many other adult-only themed areas could conceivably come into play, Edward reinforced Sony’s ultimate control by saying that “we have the ability to age-protect areas, and I think that’s something that we will inevitably make use of.”
Interestingly, when Boxer brought up the marked similarities between Sony’s Home project and Linden Lab’s existing PC-based Second Life, McDonald revealed that Sony had already begun developing Home long before Second Life even came into existence.
He went on to say that Sony’s motivation for Home was to create a “more congenial way of leading an online existence” outside of suffering repeatedly quick deaths in online videogames. “That was what prompted us to start developing what has turned out to be PlayStation Home,” added McDonald. “So, it’s clearly not Second Life.”
Edward reinforced that notion by claiming that Second Life, while superficially similar, is strictly limited by its grounding on the PC platform and, as such, must always “cater to the lowest common denominator” in terms of hardware compatibility. Sony, on the other hand, can squeeze as much potential and power as possible from the PlayStation 3 for Home, safe in the knowledge that its user base are all equipped with the same core machine.
Click HERE for the full interview, courtesy of Three Speech.