Japanese electronics giant Sony has confirmed rumors previously published at Kotaku (that as we reported resulted in a blacklisting for the site) that it intends on launching “PlayStation Home”, an online world that will allow Playstation3 users to interact in a virtual setting.
Reuters reports that the new world will include text, audio or video chat; users will be able to watch movie trailers or feature films and play casual games, and the service will be available to users in the US and Europe in the northern Autumn.
Pictures of the service, available at Joystiq, will seem familiar to users of Second Life. Aside from the slightly glossier graphics, “Home” looks and feels like a Second Life clone. No word yet as to whether Sony will allow the creation of objects in world along the same lines as users can in Second Life, but given the similarities don’t be surprised if similar features are also being planned.
The real question in terms of marketshare is does Sony really think that a Second Life clone can help boost faltering PS3 sales? Certainly they are coming from behind in terms of social interaction, with the Wii becoming a sensation based upon its strength in multi-person gaming, but Second Life style virtual worlds are relatively not that popular (despite the SL hype, there been only 2 million signups, with a whole lot less regularly logging in). Rather than “Home” I’d suggest they’d be much better off if they spent money bringing World of Warcraft to the PS3: that alone would result in a big boost in console sales.
Picture Credit: Joystiq