Sony has announced that it’s launching a “social gaming environment” within it’s PlayStation Home platform on the PlayStation3. It’s a strange announcement, if only because Home itself was meant to be a “social gaming environment,” but it’s still interesting news.
The new MMO aims to capitalise on the fact that every PlayStation 3 with an internet connection has access to PlayStation Home, but the vast majority of the console’s user base seem not to make much use of the service. To quote Sony’s own view on the launch of the new MMO through Home,
“Today we further push the envelope with the launch of PlayStation Home’s Sodium – an evolving space that leverages the incredible computing power of the PS3 to deliver truly unique and visually stunning social gaming experiences that you won’t find on any other platform.”
It’s certainly an interesting idea, and one that could well breathe new life into Sony’s Home, which had, while in development, been touted as the one thing that the PlayStation 3 would boast that would blow away competition from Microsoft’s Xbox 360. That said, according to the press release from Sony, it seems that the company isn’t entirely aware of how things have been going with PlayStation Home, going so far as to say,
“The launch of PlayStation Home in 2008 pioneered new ground in interactive entertainment and, since then, increasing support and enthusiasm from our PS3 user and game publisher communities have helped make this a tremendous first year for the platform.”
It’s genuinely as though they’ve never ventured into the strange ghost town that constitutes PlayStation Home most of the time. That said, it could well be the case that Sodium revitalises Sony’s unique online offering. If it does, there’s very likely an awful lot of money to be made from Home, if Sony handles its microtransactions well.