Sony Giving Up on PlayStation Home?

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Sony has admitted that it’s not focusing on home as a “priority” for the moment, which puts the service more firmly into the contentless limbo it had already inhabited for quite some time.

PS3 Sony PlayStation 3

Peter Edwards, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s director of PlayStation Home development, said of Sony’s current efforts that, “Home is not a priority right now.” This is relatively bad news for those who got sunk into the potential of what the PlayStation Home service seemed to offer PlayStation 3 owners before launch, but fairly universally seemed to under-deliver.

Of course, not content to leave things on a negative note, T3 is reporting that Edwards went on to say that, “We’ve proved there is a market out there and we’ve got a lot of people that spend a lot of time in [Home].” Of course, the problem is that if that were the case Sony would very much be prioritising the content that it’s already got available and making sure that Home was a polished product… rather than letting it languish as it has.

The current situation with Sony’s Home casts a bit of a pall over the idea of next-generation multiplayer on consoles, which Home’s strange virtualised environments had seemed to champion. While they were largely empty or filled with strange, sometimes semi-transparent spectres of other players, the concept of a virtual space that could contain other games and features remains intriguing.

It’s also worth questioning, as the folks over at Engadget do, just what Sony’s focus will be now that Home is (it seems) on its way out of the picture. Could it be that we’ll see some new service from Sony, or just a tightening of its existing multiplayer offering to help compete with the Xbox Live service that’s remained one of the strongest selling points of Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

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2 Responses to “Sony Giving Up on PlayStation Home?”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Interesting post, because I was contacted by Sony (where I immediately put my shoryuken.ie-hat on) about feedback regarding Home.

    My opinion was (and this was only a few days ago) that Home is a great service that I don’t use because, despite being an incredibly realised virtual world – it is only a chatroom that fails to enhance gaming. I only ever jump into the virtual world to check out new rooms set up by developers, once… MAYBE twice.

    I know friends who use it fairly regularly, but I’d never stoop to internet communication. Nope, not me.

    • komplettie Says:

      I’ve used it maybe… three or four times. Mostly out of curiosity. It’s weird to see the different directions. They’d been saying earlier in the month that they wanted to try new things with Home, but to see the European director for Home saying that Sony isn’t focusing on it anymore makes it feel like they’re perhaps considering cutting losses on it.

      My own personal experience of Home was one where I felt constantly marketed at… which was a touch unpleasant. Ads are something that happen more than enough in real life; I’m not sure I can take so high a volume of advertising in my virtual life 😉

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