Tag: PS Home

ps home: the casino

I’m pretty happy with all the upgrades Playstation Home released lately. PS Home is a 3D virtual social gaming network available only on the Playstation 3. It’s been completely overhauled since its launch back in December of 2008. There are hundreds of free “games” available now, including some RC Car racing action and a few First Person Shooters. As you may or may not know, the biggest gripe I had with PS Home was the loss of the EA Sports Complex dedicated space. In that space, between the obvious advertising for popular EA Sports games, were Texas Hold’em poker tables. These tables were pretty much the closest thing to console gambling you could get without spending real money. Well, time has passed, PS Home has improved and gambling is back on the menu! This time with some actual money involved, kinda.

Let’s jump into PS Home: The Casino. This is an all new space from developer Digital Leisure. It launched in January 2012 and now has a casino’s worth of gambling ready to play including Blackjack, Texas Hold’em Poker, Big 6 Wheel, Casino War and even Slots.

Money won is twice as sweet as money earned
The Casino is figuratively, run on chips. Since launch, it has been granting visitors 100 chips, per week, upon entry. Based on your luck, or lack thereof you may need to re-up at the cashier stand or nearby virtual chip machines (atms). Using real money you can purchase additional chips, Either 500 chips for 99 cents, 5,000 for $4.99 or 15,000 for $9.99. There isn’t much to spend your winnings on. You can spend chips on entrance to the VIP high roller rooms but chips don’t have value outside of The Casino space. Your only real ROI is time well spent.

PS Home is a rewarding sort of place. The Casino is no different, awarding virtual t-shirts, outfits and “bling” for hands well played and good runs of luck. PS Home has been adding these types of virtual clothing over the years running from an average looking to outfits physically impossible in the real world. Expect to run into some devilishly and colorfully dressed avatars during a visit. There are over 100 in-game items to win.

Begin your visit to The Casino in The Concourse, to your left is the cashier stand to your right a gift shop. Around you are the types of things you would find in any real casino, giving this space some much needed authenticity. Reach the end of the foyer and descend the grand staircase another level. There is a big fancy water fountain, a bar, access to chip machines, a roped off VIP stairway and your first dose of gambling: the Slot machines. Here in the Concourse you’ll be able to show your skills in both the Casino War and Keno parlors.

Baby needs a new pair of shoes
Slots seem like a bad idea until you start winning, don’t bother trying to memorize the winning combinations it’s all perfectly random. Push the button and hope for the best. Casino War is a lot like the card game you may remember playing as a kid, only with betting and a tie means you can win based on who had the higher bet. A minimum War bet is 10 chips. Keno is essentially like Bingo, place your bets and choose between 10, 15 or 20 numbers from the board. Keno is also a minimum of 10 chips to play. Random Keno numbers drawings are held every 3 mins to see if you get any matches. It’s nice that you can walk around and peruse the concourse and get a notification when the drawing is being held.

Big Six Roulette is a simple game of chance. Place your bets, spin the wheel and be prepared to lose. There is some strategy, there are more “ones” on the wheel than Jokers for instance. Just not my game. The Casino is a good place to get familiar with games you don’t know, then maybe, bring you new found skills to a real game.

The Casio: Blackjack and Poker have their own dedicated rooms off The Concourse, these will require an additional (short) download. Once inside you have your pick of tables. Each with their own minimum buy to sit in. Play your cards right and you can build up your bankroll in no time. Wait times are short and almost non-existent. Tables can hold up to 8 players. The usual communications between players are available during games, keyboard chat or headsets.

The sure way of getting nothing from something

Not sure, exactly, how I feel about paying real cash for chips in The Casino, fortune has it, I haven’t had to make any decision. I have a healthy bankroll established starting with just the 100 free chips. I suppose it isn’t really considered gambling since you don’t receive anything of value in return. Let’s admit, it is getting close to it though and as long as gamers are not being taken advantage of, it is good fun. PS Home has an 18 years of age requirement.

The Casino can be addictive (of course, gambling is an addiction people) but it can also be a good place to unwind. Long night of intense gameplay? Cool down with some Blackjack. Too tired to aim your sniper rifle? Pull the handle on some slots and see what happens. I not saying PS Home is a fantastic place for everyone, it has its fair share of boring spaces and annoying, young users but The Casino worth the visit. If it’s been 4 years since you’ve checked out PS Home, I recommend this update.

More about PS Home: The Casino and the individual game rules can be found here.

playstation home report

Did the shit just get awesome? A massive overhaul to Playstation Home leaves past visitors wondering if the recent teaser video of PS Home is too good to be true. Could PS Home become all it could be, with free games, things to do and, most importantly, the return of poker? The teaser promises a new main spawning point (replacing Central Plaza), new spaces and dozens of free-to-play games. We dive into PS Home for a look for ourselves.
In addition to the cosmetic changes, navigation is better than ever. Using your in game PDA to navigate to spaces, the ability to chose your own spawning point, even managing your inventory is simpler and more organized than it once was.
Let’s break down the newest spaces we’ve visited:
The Hub.
This space is more confined than I expected. The first thing I noticed was a posted list of rules, front and center. The actual rules of conduct themselves are not new but are definitely much more in your face. The dance floor returns, now designed as a glass floor over water. There is a screaming roller coaster of sorts flying overhead. Some Uncharted 3 and PS Store promotions and a transporter. Seems like each new space has access to the store, arcade machines and fetch quests standard now. Fetch quests are little errands or assignments that help you explore the new spaces. You are rewarded for completing the quests with new virtual gear for your avatar. The Hub also features a new game called Cogs, a three dimensional, steam-punk, puzzle game. Line up the spoked-wheels in the correct fashion and you will pass to the next level of difficulty. The Cogs game featured in The Hub has the first level after which you are asked to go to the Cogs space. Although I really like the new Hub, I do kinda miss the outdoor feeling of the Central Plaza.
The Theater.
The Theater space has a new multilevel design and very Asian decor. The theaters have much cooler looking new (but probably uncomfortable), colorful seats. The screens seem larger than in the past. This redesign really makes the old theater space look like a grind house. There is an easy-to-read directory of what’s playing in each of the theaters. PS Pulse is still playing in a theater (which is a fun place I’ll watch it) as well as game trailers and PSN videos. One of the halls between theaters is where I first encountered the arcade game: Scribble Shooter. Very impressive fun little game; imagine your grade school doodles coming to life as a space shooter. Sadly, it is just a game demo prompting you for a full game purchase after the first level ($6.99).
Playstation Home Hold’em.
Nothing hurt PS Home’s popularity more than the disappearance of EA Poker. Enter the new Speakeasy-esque PS Home Hold’em. A classy looking, deceptively small poker room. It can take a while to load initially, so be patient, I assume some of the lag is due to popularity. Right away, I noticed you can join a game while it is in progress. This feature sure beats waiting for an open table like we did in the old EA Poker space. The new game has a rethought interface with easy to follow game hub graphics. The camera pans around table to show the avatars at the table while you keep your cards in sight. After a couple of good hands it really starts to feel like HOME again.
Sports Walk.
Here is where we get to see a little of the “outdoors”, walking along a boardwalk in a perfect cove. The sunset might be a bit much but it is a pleasant setting. Along this boardwalk are different alcoves and the first alcove is a mock sports bar. Inside you’ll find AP Sports footage playing. This is actual content, I’m impressed, and it’s something that needed to be addressed. Mostly, the looped videos are behind-the-scenes stuff, not actual sports games, but still. There are a few poker tables in the bar. One wall has another “activity board” with more fetch quests. Further along the boardwalk, another alcove features a sports trivia game.
RC Rally.
What a huge improvement over past Home racing games; this one is actually playable. Expect this “Radio Controlled” racing to feel like a lot like a RC car. A bit daunting if you’re used to Need For Speed type racing games. The shocks, jumping and steering all have that unique “toy car” feeling to them. The first track is a dirt course with light obstacles like jumps and banks. A long list of objectives to complete will unlock another track. Looks to be a total of three tracks. Tracks themselves are interesting and increasingly more challenging. Objectives are simple like, “knock over the red cups in under 2 minutes.” Good track times equal bonuses that help you customize your RC car. Step into the next room and you’ll find multiplayer RC racing (and a huge crowd to go with it.)
Action District.
This space looks like a level you would find in an gritty sci-fi adventure. A launch point for “action” oriented games: Bootleggers, Sodium and a Kill Zone space; all free-to-play. Somewhere here there is a Dead Island game as well but I haven’t played it yet cause I jumped straight over to…
Uncharted Fortune Hunter.
Welcome to an Uncharted level, seemingly straight out of the game, with lots of nooks and crannies to run and jump around in. The space is void of much to do until you start the game, which is when things get interesting. Once started the static space becomes much more dramatic with music and prompts propelling you forward. Movement is done with some very toned down controls. Your triangle, square, circle and X buttons all correspond to moving in different directions for cover. Very different than the controls in the actual Uncharted. Once in a secure position you are free to aim and start shooting the baddies, though, inverted aiming controls will throw some off. Complete the different rounds to unlock multiplayer gear in the disk based game.
Playstation Home is more interesting than ever. There are even more spaces to hit and I hope to recap those in future posts. Is PS Home perfect? No, but, I like to imagine PS Home like a painting and hopefully they won’t ever consider it finished.

ps home report 01

Is it really a gambling addiction if there isn’t real money exchanged? I’ve spent countless hours exploring Sony’s social gaming platform Playstation Home. Home is the gathering place of the PS community where everyone person with a PS3 can join as an avatar and explore the numerous spaces available; all for free. By far the most popular of these spaces is the EA Sports Complex. Surprisingly, the main draw is the poker tables and trying to build your avatar’s bankroll up, rather than focusing on the many successful EA Sports franchises.

Never mind the brand new games I have, or the freshly downloaded content, I always find myself back here. Texas Hold’em is what’s playing on the the three colored game tables in the space. Green felt for the novice, red for the skilled and black for the expert games. The red and black tables require a buy-in that you can build up to with your bank roll from playing on the green tables. Playing with the PS Home “friends” that I remember or with strangers, it’s always the same game, but just like real poker it’s always a different experience.

I’ve played 238 poker games in Home. I am pretty quick on the draw to get a seat at a table. However everyone starts out a PS Home “noob” sometime. Just recently Gamedae contributer: B-real finally joined Home for a game of poker. Starting out can be a bit mystifying and I’ve definitely had to help some people figure out how to get a seat before. So now, once and for all, the official Gamedae guide:

How to get into a EA Sports Complex poker game:

STEP ONE: Get in the game

  • Start off by using the in world navigator then follow this path: Explore/Sports/EA Racing Complex – Poker I. This will take you to the EA Sports Complex Green poker room. The poker tables are upstairs. Your first visit will land you on the first floor and you have to find the stairs to make your way up to the poker tables. On return visits you will appear upstairs.
  • When you first start out, your bankroll is at $0. Playing at red or black tables (where you have to buy-in to the game) is out of the question. Look for a green table with as few players playing at or surrounding the table. You will have to wait for the game to end so the table opens up. Hey, this is a free game so you can’t complain too much about waiting for a game. Tables with less people playing means you may have a shorter wait. You do not have to be touching the table to get a seat.

STEP TWO: Get some scratch

  • Walking up to the table should prompt a “X Poker” dialog box. Press X. If you seem to have selected something besides Poker, don’t panic, don’t press anything other than left and right on your D-pad. This allows you to scroll through selectable thing near you be it people, games or some other site to be seen.
  • Hopefully you should have second dialog box in front of you that shows a controller icon the word Poker and a button saying PLAY.
  • Hold your horses. Look up (using the right analog stick. See the Game in Progress Screen? That gray screen with white text will prompt you when the game is finished declaring (some name) winner showing his/her winning (some amount). Wait still, the name will eventually quickly flash three times, then the text will change to “Green Table Requirements” this is your cue. Quickly, but solidly, press X. You will hear a chime and with any luck your dialog box will show you have entered the game.
  • Wait for the count down and other players to fill up the table.
  • Don’t bet it all on the first hand and you should be OK.

STEP THREE: Join the rest of us

You can gain winnings for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place at the table. After gaining a decent amount of bankroll you should head over to the red table in the room. Bankroll can be seen while in a poker game by pressing R1 or after a winning match the dialog box will show you your winnings and total bankroll.


* Do not drop out of a game before it starts
• If need to leave a game early (i.e. go to sleep) you should go all in. You can tell people your reason fr doing so…if you want.
• Be a good sport. If you win and someone says “nh” (nice hand) you say “ty” (thank you). Saying “gg” (good game) is common when someone leaves the game after losing all their chips. I usually reserve it for the final three players.

There is always a but…

The downside of free content is waiting for your turn. PS has tried a number of ways to deal with this problem but hasn’t quite figured it out yet. I’ve waited half an hour for a game before. Yes, I know, when do you think I write this blog? But then again, I’ve played poker matches here that last hours. I’m more into the late night crowd in the EA space; when are you visiting?

Comment and tell me your screen name and when/where to find you on Home.

Ironically, since I just posted this today, the EA Sports Complex in PS Home was taken down this morning to “undergo maintenance.”  I’ll keep you posted if I hear anything concrete. Rumors are spreading that it’s gone for good but I highly doubt this is the case. Hopefully it’s down for some new updates. Let’s hope it’s a good thing.

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