Monday, December 18

Becoming a Virtual Tourist in The Playstation Home

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Technology has improved through leaps and bounds in recent years and video games are not far from it as computer graphics, social networking, and virtual reality have converged into a single media that anyone can related — video games.

Many people have graduated from the 8-bit wonder of Pong and snazzy adventures of Mario to the highly-addictive nature of MMORPG, free-roaming, and sandbox games like Grand Theft Auto IV, Call of Duty Black Ops, and World of Warcraft. Right now, the Playstation 3 and the XBOX 360 have become the benchmark of ultimate video game experience.

Unlike the XBOX 360, the PS3 has allowed users to gain free access to their online marketplace for free demo games and some downloadable content. Social networking is even integrated in the game console thereby allowing gamers to communicate with other gamers and play with them as well. A giant leap forward is the integration of a virtual social world and marketplace called the Playstation Home.

Taken from the pages of the popular Sims games and the highly-acclaimed Second Life virtual world network, Playstation Home is a good media wherein gamers can represent themselves in a personalized avatar. Instead of joining chatrooms, there are many places in the Playstation Home wherein gamers can freely interact with other gamers all over the world. Customization options are quite limited because this where the online marketplace aspect comes in.

There are many freebies available in the marketplace wherein gamers can buy virtual clothes and items that they can decorate on their avatar and virtual pad. Unfortunately, you have to use real money to buy stuff. The developer, Sony Computer Entertainment, and its partners like Electronic Arts, Atari, THQ, and other game publishers have their own themed spaces.

Once you log-in to Playstation Home for the first time, your avatar is immediately spawned in the Central Plaza/Home Square where every other gamers are there. You can interact with them and make goofy and funny actions to entertain each other. Aside from that, you can always add each other up in your friends list and maybe play against each other in any video games you may have.

As you stroll around the Central Plaza, you will notice billboards that showcase advertisements from game developers. You can play a flying saucer game by the fountain area, watch the latest video game trailers at the Home Theatre, and play bowling or try the classic video game arcades at the Game Space. There is always the Shopping Mall to meet your customization needs.

When you get bored from all the virtual sightseeing, you can always head to the themed game spaces enjoy the mini-games in stored for you. Visit EA Sports’ game space by hopping on your race car at its exhilarating mini racing game or beating your friends in a competitive game of poker.

Music also plays an important part of this sprawling virtual world, gamers can enjoy licensed songs from the top artists. If you want have peace and quiet in your own customizable space, you can always hang out in your virtual apartment and even invite your own friends at Playstation Home to come over. Go for a fast-paced airplane obstacle course in the Red Bull Air Race or become a rockstar at the Guitar Hero Backstage.

There is always for everyone in Playstation Home whether you’re going for a virtual tour, meeting new friends, or just wanting to have a good time with the various games available. Not only you have one of the best gaming console and all-around multimedia machine rolled into one in the PS3, you have an entertaining virtual reality simulator around.

To learn more about the best tech gadgets that Cebuanos use, visit the lifestyle section at Y101 FM, Always First.

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