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Feature: 'At Home with Phil Harrison'

For today's in-depth Gamasutra feature, we sit down with Sony Worldwide Studios president Phil Harrison to discuss Home, its similarities (or lack thereof) to Second Lif
For today's in-depth Gamasutra feature, we sit down with Sony Worldwide Studios president Phil Harrison to discuss Home, its similarities (or lack thereof) to Second Life, the importance of Blu-Ray to the PS3, and the value of bringing big-name developers to downloadable games. In this excerpt, Harrison says that despite superficial similarities to Linden Labs' virtual world Second Life, Home's focus will firmly be on experiencing the 'PlayStation experience,' and, to the extent that its Game 3.0 philosophy will include user-created content, it will be channeled through Sony to maintain production values, unlike Linden's free-for-all: "Phil Harrison: The unifying theme of Home is entertainment, and the fact that users are connected together in a 3D world, and that they can communicate and cooperate together. Everything about Home has to do with the PlayStation experience, be it PlayStation games, or movies, or music. It's very much focused on the digital entertainment that you would want to get out of your PlayStation 3. We're providing the experience. We're providing the network of spaces. So that means we can invest in making them look beautiful and making them look cool. As you know, the approach that Second Life takes is that they just provide the tools, and that they are entirely server-based. It's a very different approach, and it's really inappropriate to make any direct comparisons with Second Life since we're in a very different space. [...] Second Life brilliantly does user-created content, but that's all they do. They don't do anything else other than that -- and I really like what Linden Labs has done, so I shouldn't be critical -- but Home is much more high production-value, because we are able to control that channel much more effectively." You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject, with more from Harrison on the future of Blu-Ray and the PS3, the console's Hall Of Fame, and frank discussion of the PS3's comparatively higher launch price for Europe (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).

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