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Contrary to popular belief PlayStation Home is “booming”

30 Comments | posted

Out for just over a year, Sony’s social networking initiative PlayStation Home has had its critics. The service has been gradually growing in features, but many have argued that its audience isn’t worth shouting about. Sony is arguing the contrary; PlayStation Home is actually booming.

PlayStation Home has been available to PlayStation 3 gamers for fifteen months now, and the service’s director Jack Buser has claimed that those months have been very successful. Of course, it’s his job to sell the service to advertisers, developers and consumers, and with reports of advertisers jumping ship, he’s got a tough job convincing.

At a GDC presentation, Buser has used statistics to demonstrate the success of PlayStation Home, with the service now enjoying 12 million users, with 85 per cent of those returning.

IGN reports that there were 6 million users in June 2009, with 10 million in December 2009 and 12 million today. Each visitor also on average spends an hour using the service. So it’s not all doom and gloom for PlayStation Home, even though we’d like to see a number of improvements.

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Comments (30)

  • Ryan

    I still think home will suck until we can hit people or use guns, something!! Standing around text messaging and dancing is lame, 3D Myspace with out smut will never do well imo.

  • Reigen

    i agree
    home is fun, but it still needs some improvements
    like voice chat and a music player(of some sort)

    after home gets that, the critics can stfu

  • VofEscaflowne

    @Ryan

    Wow, really? It’s a social networking service so when you go out with friends, you punch and shoot each other repeatedly? Remind me to never become friends with you :p

    But there is plenty of games. Bowling, pool, an entire board game based on the Uncharted universe, various other mini games scattered throughout Home including inFamous and Resistance, both offering unlockables for your avatar.

    And in case some didn’t know, Home was recently updated to 1.35 which actually fixed many issues with the service. The start up screen has been totally revamped and left me very impressed with how smooth it now runs instead of having to wait several minutes for anything to happen. Loading up new areas takes less than 10 seconds and joining up with friends is now even more easy and convenient for the user. It still has a long way to go but it’s a great step in the right direction.

  • Ryan

    @VofEscaflowne

    Real life and video games are totally different places, maybe you should explore.

    Sitting on your ass at home, in a place called home, while being at a “bar” is far from actually going to the bar with friends. If it’s not real then why not have fun with it?

    VARP FTL!

  • WonsAuto

    I’ve used Home maybe twice, the last time well over a year ago, so I wouldn’t know. I’ve yet to see anything to compel me to return, though.

    And did anyone else get a survey from Sony recently? I got one today and a lot of it was questions about Home usage.

  • Dr. Moogle

    meh i dont really care about home……unless it goes through some DRASTIC measures….which i doubt it will

  • Dreamer_Lion

    I like Home very much after 1.35. Remember the disscusion we had on some other article?, we all agreed one of the worst problems was loading speed (It took forever to load) but with 1.35 that changed for good.

    Nos it’s very easy and intuitive to acces any space but more importantly: It’s faster. Now I can gather with my friends on home, chat for a little while then launch a game (KIllzone 2 anyone?).

    Of course, there is always room for improvements: being able to watch a movie or listen to music on my personal space would be a big plus.

  • VofEscaflowne

    @Ryan

    Well as a social networking service, they want to have it be open to as many people as possible. Why limit the customer base by immediately jumping to adding violence in it? That’s what I just found a bit ridiculous about your statement :p There’s more than just violence in entertainment.

    @Dreamer_Lion

    Yeah I actually forgot about game launching. I have to try that out and see if it’s actually speedier now. The only problem I have is that the wardrobe still loads extremely slow. Not only does it take forever to load up your clothing but you have to reload it each and every time which makes for a very frustrating process when an article lies as the bottom of the list.

  • jubjub5721

    wait…people still use home? lol. But yeah, if we can get guns and shoot people and turn it into GTA then I will use it. Violence and total anarchy is what home needs :D

  • exe_exe_1

    i think that the PS-home should have music in are own space,s so we can play are own music when we are in there it will make more fun 4 ppl’s two…. make it where we have to buy the player… and we can add are own music… like we do with are pic’s… in the frames… somthing to think anout PS-HOME….

  • TRF

    Home needs some improvements. It’s really boring. Why socialize with a friend’s avatar when you could all be socializing over a game of Bad Company 2 or Killzone 2 or MAG?

    They need to offer something unique to really make Home less of the laughing stock of PS3 features.

  • Ryan

    @VofEscaflowne

    There is more to entertainment than violence you’re right, but Home doesn’t offer any thing but a glorified version of AOL. Sony is laughing all the way to the bank, selling virtual items to people that like to play dress up with virtual characters. If you’re looking to blow money on nothing Home is the place to be and once you have it all you still have nothing but a new space to dance or text in.

    Honestly though Home is a straight up rip off of:

    “World of World of Warcraft”.

    I would say Sims, but lets face it Sims puts Home to shame.

  • Moocows111111

    @Ryan “Sony is laughing all the way to the bank, selling virtual items to people that like to play dress up with virtual characters. If you’re looking to blow money on nothing Home is the place to be and once you have it all you still have nothing but a new space to dance or text in.”

    Why do you think Second Life got to be as big as it is now? There is always certain groups of people who enjoys this stuff. Alot of People enjoyed Second Life because it was a way for people to have another life other then putting up with the one they are in now. Besides, Home is made for the more casual people, not gamers who play KIllzone or Mw2.

  • Ryan

    @Moocows111111

    Log on with a male character for ten minutes and then log on with a female character for 10 minutes, see which one has the most friend requests in that time.
    (with out speaking/text messaging)

    I think it has a lot less to do with “casuals” and more to do with the lonely spankers.

    Yeah I can see the point of paying 300+ dollars to run around in a virtual world…. That’s so casual.

  • XxTYxCRAZYxX

    i tried home 4 about 10 min din like it deleted it instally it was 2 boring nothin 2 do

  • Dreamer_Lion

    But you need to have more than just 1 point of view: I use home as the “party” function of my ps3. So I can say, “let’s meet on home then launch a game”, which is awesome as you can make jokes, having the avatars do stupid things is fun too.

    So basically, there are other things to do in home than just “socialize”. I guess if you don’t get along with your ps3 friends or don’t have any (lol) you wouldn’t see the point to use home.

  • VofEscaflowne

    @Ryan

    Then Home just isn’t for you, simple as that. For those that want to play dress up, it works perfectly for them. Sony is making an easy profit from those that purchase clothing and apparently it works because the amount of clothing they release each week has went from almost nothing to an insane amount and variation to choose from. The fun thing is that you’re not forced to buy anything at all either.

    Looking at Home recently, they have tried to cater to the crowd that wanted Home to be a bit more full with actual game content. Sodium One, released last year, includes the game Salt Shooter for 4.99$. It’s a futuristic tank/shooter in which you blow things up (yay!), complete with weapon upgrades, bosses, in-game credits to collect which can be spent on virtual clothing for your character. It’s actually a fun game and may just be enough to get people to log in Home more often. Obviously if you want more game, you’re just better off buying an actual blu-ray game and playing that but Home will never offer than kind of content. The same reason we blow off money on games is the same reason certain people enjoy spending it on Home. They get entertainment out of it as much as we do.

  • george

    home good the first time you play it but never really gets u coming back, they need more games like the red bull air race not the little rubbish games if they want more people to come back

  • Ryan

    @VofEscaflowne It must be great for kids then, because I don’t know anyone my age who thinks its good, most of them were curious what it was installed it then uninstalled it the same night.

  • VofEscaflowne

    @Ryan

    I know plenty of people my age (20+) that purchase items and use their PS3 for Home more than they do for games. One guy I know probably spends more within Home than I do in games. I think he slowed down a lot but it easily used to be 25$+ per week, if not over 50$ depending on the type of content delivered. Even I spent a few bucks because I used Home a lot but I haven’t been on seriously in weeks other than to maybe check out certain updates.

  • Dr. Moogle

    @VofEscaflowne: really?? wow dood i didnt know people even spent money on Home -_-

  • Ryan

    Like I said.

  • Dreamer_Lion

    Mmmmh, me and my clan mates use Home and we average the 25s (I’m 20 years old while the oldest member is 34). And yeah, some of us spend money buying stuff on Home however, it’s usually just those remaining funds after purchasing a game or something (which is not that much)..

  • Hozi

    Home seemed like a kool feature to me at first but I must admit. I barely ever use it. It’s something my girlfriend likes a lot. I think it just attracts a certain audience, just not my taste. Sorry SONY.

  • scottspeed

    home is still mediocre but is still a bit fun at times. I’ve been on it now and again and its ok for a hour but quickly becomes stale. Needs to be lots of different things to do with friends to make me stay longer.

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  • Raveren

    definitely a good and interesting concept, but leaves a lot to be desired. there is still a lot that could and needs to be done in order for it to realize it’s full potential.

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