We were a little disappointed by Sony at this year's Game Developers Conference. Last year, they showed gathered journalists "Killzone 2" and rocked the boat a little bit with "Little Big Planet" and the first look at "Home."
Nothing of that magnitude came this time around, but they did hold an hour-long panel yesterday on the still-mostly-mysterious "Home" for interested developers.
The panel itself revealed precious little more about "Home" that hasn't already been leaked from gamers in the beta or announced by Sony. We did, however, get an interesting look at some example trophies that gamers could theoretically collect for participating in some of the mini-games (i.e. bowling) scattered in "Home"'s virtual spaces.
In an upcoming update to the Home Development Kit (HDK), companies will have a chance to start modeling these trophies themselves and playing with them in "Home."
Much of the presentation was spent looking at ways of developing and implementing objects into "Home," from the aforementioned trophies to sillier items like a bubble machine or a camera to take virtual photos with a friend's "Home" avatar. Sony says users will have the opportunity to take one item into a public space at a time, though that could change between now and the final release of "Home" sometime in 2008.
If you were wondering: yes, that release date remains completely vague; Sony made no mention of an updated release schedule for "Home" at GDC. What we did see, however, was an interesting back-and-forth between an Electronic Arts developer in the audience who questioned the motivation for even creating content for "Home."
When asked, "Why should I develop for Home?" James Cox, Senior Producer at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, didn't seem ready for the question, as a long pause dangled in the audience. Eventually, the EA employee clarified his statement, instead wondering what the draw was for third parties without a clear revenue model in place.
Even then, Cox didn't exactly have a clear answer. Earlier in the presentation, Cox mentioned that publishers have the option of making items pay-to-play, but that wasn't a requirement, and he simply told the employee to call Sony if he was interested in a more formal pitch on the revenue possibilities for "Home."
I wonder if he'll actually call.