Welcome to the final article in my series on PlayStation Home. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve looked at different aspects of Home, but I’ve dodged answering what exactly Home is, and where it might be heading.
People have been complaining that PlayStation Home simply lacks things to do, content etc. And we’re all told that to attract consumers, ‘content is king’. So where is it? Well, in the article ‘Sony: Home is the “perfect storm” for publishers‘ by gamesindustry.biz, Sony describe Home as a platform upon which third parties can engage directly with PlayStation gamers with their own content.
It’s all now starting to make sense: all those who have chastised Sony for lack of content (I’ll hold my hand up, including myself), Sony isn’t trying to populate Home with a small collection of spaces released so far. In reality, Sony is hoping to showcase the potential of the service with its own first party spaces and projects, tempting publishers and developers going forward to provide the majority of content for Home, and to secure for themselves a lucrative slice of the pie.
They say they’re not in the business of creating the content for the Home platform, but rather creating “that initial spark” from which other developers and publishers can take ideas from those examples and build on them. The release of the EA SPORTS Complex marks the first ‘big ticket’ space from a 3rd party developer and publisher with which to engage with current customers and potential consumers. Of course, any content going forward needs to offer something for the user. Note the massive failures of ‘Coca Cola land’ and the like from presenting a bland, shallow, corporate offering in Second Life that users stayed clear from.
Sony say that they have given gamers what they want: a social network for gamers that allows them to focus on their passion for gaming. A clever insight starts with the obvious, that gamers don’t game 24/7. Well, what better way than to keep gamers’ attentions by filling gaps between their play sessions within Home?
With the promise of three new spaces every month, a wide range of development support, and most crucially the blessing of the consumer, the future of Home looks very promising. In my assessment, it’s just going to take us a little more time to reach that stage, after all I’ll give Sony credit where credit is due: it certainly isn’t easy building a content platform from scratch.
Content like Xi, the EA SPORTS Complex, and the Red Bull Air Race is just the beginning.