Sony is to launch a new 3D virtual world community, similar to Second Life where users will be able to create a pesonal avatar, explore a high quality 3D world, purchase space and personalise it with purchased or made objects. Sony's 'home' community will be hotly anticipated, as the machine has extremely powerful processing power, so the experience should be visually far more impressive than that of Second Life.
Sony's move is a response to the recent explosion of social networking and so called web 2.0 sites that are eating into the time spent playing on games consoles. But to be seen will be just how they will learn from Second Life and other social networking sites to make the experience truely compelling and advantagous to the user.
Each person will have their own appartment to which they can invite friends and in which they can chat, play and share video, music and other content that they have on their Playstation. Their trophies from completing games will be hung on their walls. This is very likely to take the experiences that have made MySpace so popular, but deliver them in a far more compelling and enguaging way.
No doubt seeing how brands have been keen to jump on the Second Life phenomenon, there will be a queue of companies looking for new ways to be featured in Home. Appealing to the commercial potential for advertising within this 'game' Sony have designed it so that dynamic advertising can be delivered through the virtual environment including hi quality video.
The software will be downloadable for free, and is due to launch in late 2007.
I think that this one will be a very important one to watch when it kicks off later this year.
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