Microsoft Exec Dismisses PlayStation Home as Nothing More Than a Chat Room

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Microsoft Exec Dismisses PlayStation Home as Nothing More Than a Chat Room

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Microsoft's UK marketing manager says the company has no plans to release a rival to Sony's virtual meeting space.

Microsoft's Stephen McGill is unimpressed by Sony's efforts to create a virtual meeting room for PlayStation 3 owners. In fact, he doesn't think Home does much more than your common or garden chat room.

McGill said that Microsoft wasn't planning to make its own version of Home, adding that he wasn't sure that Sony was getting much in the way of useful data from the Home experience. McGill's comment refer to a common complaint about Home: that there simply isn't enough to do. Of course, McGill is a Microsoft employee, so you're not going to hear him saying overly positive things about Home, but even content developers for the platform say that it has had a few problems along the way.

The open beta for Home launched nearly two years ago, and since then it's struggled to hold gamers' attention. Last summer, Home's then platform director, Peter Edward, admitted that the majority of PSN users never return to Home after their first visit. Kirk Ewing, a developer for PlayStation Home content developer Veemee, said that despite a multitude of content updates, there was still a perception that Home wasn't very good.

Earlier this year, a question mark was raised over whether Sony was still able to get advertiser support for the service. Around 14 million users have tried Home, but unofficial figures suggest that the service has only 1.7 million return users. That's not a small number, but it represents less than 4% of the 50 million or so people using PSN, and with other avenues of advertising available on the PS3, Home hardly seems like the most cost effective way of marketing something.

It wouldn't surprise me if - contrary to what McGill might say - Sony is actually learning a great deal from the Home experience, even if a lot of it is learning through mistakes. With consoles makers courting casual gamers now as well as the traditional hardcore players, having experience in building virtual social areas may come in very useful. The real secret, however, is to get people coming back to the space time and time again, and that seems to be the part that Sony is yet to master.

Source: Games Industry

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Well, he's giving it more credit than I do, that's for sure.

But here's a thought for the article: the percentage of people using Home vs the total install base is not relevant to whether it's cost effective. We don't know how expensive buying ad space in Home is, but the only concern there would be total number of hits vs cost compared to total number of hits vs cost elsewhere.

Unsurprising words from Microsoft there. I suppose that rules them out of taking over Second Life, then.

well he is right...although in sony's defense its not just a chat room simulator...its a place people can virtually bum you whilst you wait to play a shit mini game with a person who'll call you names in another language! YAY SONY!

Home is pretty terrible.

My experience was a case of "Let's see what there is to do..."

"Okay, not that, that's £2.50."

"That's another £1."

"This is just a series of items which will cost me money."

"Oh look, there's somebody shouting profanities."

The best thing to do in Home is to dress yourself like a pervert and run up to people and do the thumbs out dance.

When they run, you follow.

I'll agree with that. played it for an hour, if that, when I first found it.

Bored out of my skull, the ENTIRE time.

I thought everyone knew this? This a cheap, easy shot Microsoft, saying Home sucks is like stating that the sky is blue.

Tried Home for an hour, it's the biggest piece of crap since those useless Wii channels.

It works, theinory.

But not in real life.

(wonder how long it'll take people to get "theinory"? Hint: It's in a Yatzhee video.)

it's funny, because it was a chatroom that made their hotmail service popular

Wait, what? I mean, i don't own a PS3 and have never used home. But I thought home was

y'know...

a chatroom.

Never used Playstatiion Home much, its just too bad....everything loads slowly (not cause of my internet line)
Not much to do and you'll lose your friends if they saw you there.

You know, there was a time when Home actually looked like something promising and everyone was excited for it. It actually looked kinda cool. But then they delayed it. And again. And again...

Now it's a huge joke.

I don't see why McGill felt it necessary to bring this up again. Why would Microsoft make a rival for Home?

Cingal:
Home is pretty terrible.

My experience was a case of "Let's see what there is to do..."

"Okay, not that, that's £2.50."

"That's another £1."

"This is just a series of items which will cost me money."

"Oh look, there's somebody shouting profanities."

...if it's any consolation (haha, pun), we get that on Xbox Live as well. Except substitute $60 for £2.50. :D

believer258:
It works, theinory.

...in theory? I'm pretty sure that Yahtzee didn't come up with it, though, as things like that been done before.

Onyx Oblivion:
I thought everyone knew this? This a cheap, easy shot Microsoft, saying Home sucks is like stating that the sky is blue.

It's Microsoft saying Home sucks, yes, but I think their main point was supposed to just be "We're not going to spend time and money developing something similar." (Instead, we get to play the "Are you gonna get the Red Rings of Death?" edition of Wheel of Fortune.)

EDIT: These may not be the best responses EVAR. It's the morning, and my brain isn't quite warmed up yet.

Sony Exec: "No, U!"
Microsoft Exec: "Your mum."
Sony Exec: "Your mum!"

Root: "Grow up."

believer258:
It works, theinory.

But not in real life.

(wonder how long it'll take people to get "theinory"? Hint: It's in a Yatzhee video.)

Which one? It'll take me ages to find it otherwise :(

The_root_of_all_evil:
Sony Exec: "No, U!"
Microsoft Exec: "Your mum."
Sony Exec: "Your mum!"

Root: "Grow up."

Sony & Microsoft Exec: "No you!"

It's a sad time for gaming now that it's dominated by bickering fans and bickering companies.

Microsoft isn't use the innovation and original thought, so of course an idea like home would look like a chat room.

The concept of Home is fundamentally flawed. If it is a place to hang out with people you meet on the PSN... then you'd do that in the games you play with them anyway and don't need Home to interact with them. If it is a place for you to meet people, then it is inferior in every way to a game environment, and people who play console games are not exactly the type to just go a chat room and hope to meet people - most of the PSN games start out at least as single players taken online for multiplayer.

It is basically like a bar or a club where you go with no objective other than to meet people and then promptly fail to do so because everyone in there is trying to do the same thing. What do you talk about? How crappy Home is, of course. It is not just a failed theory it is a theory that should have failed before it was brought to the light of actuality.

Home is a very interesting affair. There is good places and bad. The sodium hub is awesome. They need to change the games in the arcade as they have been the same since sony released Home......other than that it is a chatroom......but it is the best one around.

When did Captain Obvious start working at Microsoft?

Its free so why are you guys complaining? it's not like you have to pay money for it or anything (unless you count the clothes and other worthless crap you can get on there).

For what It does do, It does do quite well. However its not amazing by any means, just a nice little bonus if your bored or if you want something to mess about in.

Plus free chess and pool is always cool.

I'm a Playstation fanboy but even I knowingly admit this.

Poor show Microsoft if you're going to take potshots at Sony you'll have to do better than that.

Michael Flick:
Microsoft isn't use the innovation and original thought, so of course an idea like home would look like a chat room.

Well, it's a chat room you can walk around in. When I tried it, I also had to wait in line to do anything relevant so...yeah.

Home is worthless.

It's a shitty thing

EDIT: I played it when I had my PS3.....boring

As someone who games almost exclusively on the PS3, I look at Home and think "what's the point?" I've spent hundreds of pounds on the system and games to play on it so that's what I'm going to do - why woud I waste my time with this so called life simulator? Especially considering I haven't seen anything about it but bad press.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Sony Exec: "No, U!"
Microsoft Exec: "Your mum."
Sony Exec: "Your mum!"

Root: "Grow up."

Absolutely loving your avatar!

Michael Flick:
Microsoft isn't use the innovation and original thought, so of course an idea like home would look like a chat room.

And Sony is batshit insane and champion of creating things nobody wants. (movies on the PSP, Home, PS internet browser. My PC broke awhile back and I was stuck using my PS3. It's basically unusable as a sole internet browser)

Bender Rodriguez:
Never used Playstatiion Home much, its just too bad....everything loads slowly (not cause of my internet line)
Not much to do and you'll lose your friends if they saw you there.

Recent patch cut loadings by over 50%

I pop in every week after wed update to see the new stuff and take pics around. It is boring if you go there for the first time, but if you know your way around there's always stuff to do, and some of those paid game deserve more credit they're given (Salt Shooter game is worth 5 times what you pay for it).

It has some killer apps, like the poker table and pool tables, which are really fun to play with friends or random strangers. Seriously, what chat room allows you to invite 5 people to your personal place to play poker?

Personally I'm there about 1-2 hours per week, except when I feel like finding a poker group and stay till 5 am.

Also, Home pays itself exclusively with virtual item sales, the ads around the world are just the cherry on top.

Direbetus:

The_root_of_all_evil:
Sony Exec: "No, U!"
Microsoft Exec: "Your mum."
Sony Exec: "Your mum!"

Root: "Grow up."

Sony & Microsoft Exec: "No you!"

Root: Your companies are reeking pustules of sophomoric primate ejaculate, and your mum.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Direbetus:

The_root_of_all_evil:
Sony Exec: "No, U!"
Microsoft Exec: "Your mum."
Sony Exec: "Your mum!"

Root: "Grow up."

Sony & Microsoft Exec: "No you!"

Root: Your companies are reeking pustules of sophomoric primate ejaculate, and your mum.

Thanks, i'll check it out.
Loading times were the killer for me :)

How's that XBL virtual arcade working for you, Stephen?

Noelveiga:
Well, he's giving it more credit than I do, that's for sure.

More than I do as well. I think he's being generous by calling it a chat room. I see it as less than that, considering the PS3 does have a chat room right in the XMB that doesn't require you to download a bunch of crap, make an avatar, download more crap, walk around trying to filter out other random crap... Whatever the point is I think Home is crap and if I want a chat room, Home isn't my first stop on the PS3 for that either.

Belladonnah:

Bender Rodriguez:
Never used Playstatiion Home much, its just too bad....everything loads slowly (not cause of my internet line)
Not much to do and you'll lose your friends if they saw you there.

Recent patch cut loadings by over 50%

I pop in every week after wed update to see the new stuff and take pics around. It is boring if you go there for the first time, but if you know your way around there's always stuff to do, and some of those paid game deserve more credit they're given (Salt Shooter game is worth 5 times what you pay for it).

It has some killer apps, like the poker table and pool tables, which are really fun to play with friends or random strangers. Seriously, what chat room allows you to invite 5 people to your personal place to play poker?

Personally I'm there about 1-2 hours per week, except when I feel like finding a poker group and stay till 5 am.

Also, Home pays itself exclusively with virtual item sales, the ads around the world are just the cherry on top.

I never use home much but I never think its bad, it is cool it lets you play poker and a bunch of other games. :D

HOME definitely has/had (depending on your stance) potential. I remember playing around with it at first, but the load times and general lack of atmosphere really kept it down.

I don't think it was ever "terrible". The main thing I see is that people expected HOME to be some full on MMO or something, but it's really just an application that you toy around with for a couple of minutes every now and again. It's got some interesting ideas, and definitely has potential, but it's implementation has greatly hindered it's potential.

Overall, I'd have to say that HOME is a "failure" so far. I don't think HOME is terrible by any means, but when you get down to it, it hasn't really flourished as much as Sony had expected.

And this is coming from the #1 Sony fanboy here, just sayin'.

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