PS3 Home vs Xbox 360 new look dashboard vs Nintendo Mii

The explosion of avatar based interaction outside of the context of an actual game is well and truly on a roll at the moment. It is akin to when evrything and everyone started to allow profile pictures. These pictures are of course a low grade avatar expression of a persons intent towards you and a system. Inside IBM we have a corporate bluepages, everyone has a space for a picture. It is intended to be a recognizable passport style. However use of it it broken into 1/3 regular pictures, 1/3 expressive, different and innovative pictures and 1/3 no picture at all. I have many conversations around this. (The numbers are not actual numbers btw, just classifications of people). It seems there is a percentage of any population that just does not want to let you know anything about them, they either dont have time, inclination or ability to share. The other 2/3 though are more interesting and whilst may seem to be opposing camps they are willing to share something of who they are online in a particular domain. It would be great to be able to have more than one picture, a straight laced on and an expressive one to further explore who people are and get a sense of them before meeting or talking.
Of course this is where the avatars burst into life. The gaming community is used to some of this expression from within the games. This is now very much bleeding out into the lobby, and going cross game experience.
The Mii’s started to let people created a persistent character when playing in a game. They allow a degree of portability, carrying the Mii around in a WiiMote to a friends house, or travelling around via the slightly over regulated(IMHO) friend system. The problem is the connection to others is not really there online, though is certainly there when all crowded around a TV.
The PS3 Home system promises to enable every PS3 owner to have an immersive virtual world experience, share content, provide game lobby brokering, win new avatar and room related things in games etc. At the moment the PS3 experience online is not great in terms of conncetion to others. The friends list is a bit light, just an icon and a sense you might connect with people in a game somewhere. Recent patches start to change this, but it is a long way behind in terms of feeling of being connected.
The 360 has Live, and this really does seem to have been an integrated community success. You feel always signed on and connected, in game, out of game, watching a DVD. The comms and invites to places, tracking friends achievements and a whole host of other things feel really good. The player pictures from games or from cameras work as an expressive low grade avatar. Of course now after E3 we know that the flat almost web2.0 experience of Xbox live is going to have the brightness turned up on it with avatars. It is a combination of the Mii and Home but will just be there in the autumn no fuss no bother. There is a (not very good) press release page here the videos dont seem to work. So lets hope for a smoother release on XBL.
As per usual all the companies are influenced by one another, trends sweep through, but I think the underlying need we seem to have (atleast 2/3 of us) for digital representations to be more rich is the interesting point.

30 thoughts on “PS3 Home vs Xbox 360 new look dashboard vs Nintendo Mii

  1. We just finished covering Casual Connect Seattle where I was able to pick the brains of some of the XBox Live people. They have some interesting things going aside from the basics of avatars. For instance, the live arcade is going to allow your average person and developers alike to create games. Sort of a spin on user generated content. They said the next logical extension of thier avatar system will be people being able to take these avatars into the casual games others create. Also, they were quick to point out it will only be a matter of time before some major house wants to integrate the avatars into a packaged game for purchase and Xbox live play.

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  3. Try using pictures when you write your articles. Especially when comparing things, pictures always make the article alot more interesting.

    Just some critique.

  4. @nate yes this is much deeper than kist AV’s the depth of engagement and creative input from gamers will be interesting.
    As for @anon and picture, I think you will see we usually use pictures. The XBL stiff doesnt seem to have engaged wth the web with a multitude of pictures to use. PS3 Home is the same, oh and the Mii pretty much the same too have to take mad screen shots from tv.

  5. I bit the bullet and got a PS3 and to be honest, it frustrates me how much more fun my friends have with the Xbox online. I feel all lonely online and as you say, i may stumble upon someone who knows me online with the PS3. I personally can’t wait for further developments of this nature.

  6. Dirtyfunk, your mates will a lot more lonely that you when their xbox breaks, you have made the right decision getting a ps3, it can sometimes be a good thing to be anonymous playing the ps3 online with a headset, like hurling abuse at someone you don’t know on COD4 you will never have to speak to them again!

  7. yeah man, you are right, it is fun winding peeps up online. I love playing on COD4 and heckling the opponents when you knife them in the back….hehe!!!!

  8. I think Xbox 360 dashboard is still the best compared to Mii, I just felt there’s something missing when I see Mii dashboard.

    But that’s just me πŸ™‚

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  10. I like your interpretation of avatar-based image inclusions. Even though they’re poorly implemented in almost all circumstances, the use of icons or oddly-chosen photos is also very telling and revealing about the individual’s personality (disorder). Just as it became uncool to type in all CAPS, so too shall it be that misrepresentative avatars will be construed as a not “mysterious” or “enigmatic” but simply imbecilic and immature. IMHO.

  11. I thought the 360 was pretty good and that the Wii’s avatar Mii creatures were a fad. Well I still think it’s a fad and that xbox should not have followed.

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  13. It sounds like you’re creating problems yourself by trying to solve this issue instead of looking at why their is a problem in the first place

  14. What are some of the reasons why people prefer the “live” version of xbox live vs. PS3? can anyone comment on the live version on ncaa football? thanks.

  15. I own an Xbox and a Playstation and both are really good game consoles. Let’s see what are Microsoft’s future updgrades on its Xbox game console.;.’

  16. Can someone please convince me to acquire a xbox? give me good reasons to buy a xbox 360 that aren’t: ”better online” – p2p gaming would be the very same everywhere, twitter and netflx are nothing. ”better” games – ps3 gets the very same as xbox and other people i cant play on PC much better graphics – multiplatform games are mostly the exact same

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