15 years ago, Sony tried to denounce its transformation

Trying to bridge a gap between the real world and the digital world, sonydue to the huge popularity of that moment in Second lifedecided to launch in 2008 a species interconnection gamer, at a time when the term metaverse itself was unfashionable. THE PlayStation Home It was the bet of the Japanese giant to give a new look to the public for the PlayStation 3 and also to strengthen the digital community.

It was announced in 2007 in San Francisco during the Game Developers Conference that year, the concept was crystal clear in the video introducing the service.

Step through the door to the real world and enter a digital environment where your avatar interacts with your peers, exploring a world that was meant to redefine the way a console could entertain. The PlayStation 3 would leave a pure and simple player of games and other media and become a platform to access a connected and social hub. The initiative sought to map this social appeal of the virtual community that Microsoft managed, in a different way, to achieve at the time with Xbox Live.

The term metaverse was first coined in the novel snowcrash, released in 1992, written by Neal Stephson. The term denotes a virtual reality in which people can access and interact in a wide variety of virtual environments.

Sony was trying to sell this idea with the PlayStation Home. Access the virtual world and explore interacting with other avatars, from a game of virtual bowling with your “buddies”, a good game of poker or even a kind of excursion into the environments of some games.

PlayStation Home

It was a great balcony to promote games or others from another angle. Just as Disney has themed attractions based on its intellectual properties, PlayStation Home offered attractions tied to the games available on the PS3.

As mentioned in beta release announcement of PlayStation Home, published on December 10, 2008, Sony stated that it is committed to providing PS3 users with exciting gaming experiences with PlayStation Home, together with partners, so that users can expand the new world of interactive entertainment.

As with Second Life, and as with many companies already embracing the metaverse at the time, PlayStation Home was a goldmine to be explored from the advertising side. Exposing your brand in an environment where many people will spend hours online has been and remains an effective strategy.

PlayStation Home customers encountered items related to Coca-Cola, Red Bull, Diesel, EA, Capcom and more. German automaker Audi even offered a compartment within the platform, the Audio Space.

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PlayStation Home customers encountered items related to Coca-Cola, EA, Capcom and more. German automaker Audi even offered a free apartment within the platform.

Apartment? Yes. Avatars weren’t just roaming around without a home. The sense of realism and intersectionality with everyday life that PlayStation Home was trying to embody also carried over into real estate acquisition.

In addition to customizing your avatar, it was possible to modify your “HomeSpace”, your home in this environment. And it was still possible to buy new items, a kind of DLC for your home, in virtual stores connected to the service. It was possible to customize the wallpaper, add tables, chairs, shelves, sofa, paintings, TV, among others.

In those moments when the boredom of staying at home hit, all you had to do was get up and enjoy the possibilities that the virtual world offers you. Home Square would have some attraction to steal your attention. Who knows, maybe even an avatar dance.

Another very interesting case was Sony’s partnership with content distributor Crankckle, which made a collection of movies available on PlayStation Home avatars, from Resident Evil to Final Fantasy. Episodes from some cartoons were also available. And the best: it’s free

PlayStation Home

Sony’s world, in theory, was beautiful, but in practice it never managed to achieve Sony’s goals. Aside from the real cost to players, which was required to be able to expand the features in this universe, many did not like the fact that it required repeated downloads for each new region that became available, increasing the capacity that the platform ate up from hard drive. console disk.

Compared to Second Life, PlayStation Home was also more closed and controlled with an iron fist by Sony, making free negotiation between players impossible. The comparisons ended up affecting the flights of the Japanese giant.

In 2011, Sony even announced a redesign for PlayStation Home, bringing the concept of a content hub, incorporating quests, community events, and more. It was the final move to try and keep the platform moving forward. It didn’t work.

Three years later it was confirmed that PlayStation Home would be shutting down for good in 2015. In a blog post, the company explained that the “PlayStation Home has been serving the PS3 community since December 2008. During that time, tens of millions of users around the world have helped this social platform become a thriving community of creative and passionate gamers.”

To protect those who contributed to PlayStation Home, a final event was held to distribute items and accessories for avatars still in the PlayStation metaverse.

In 2021, reports emerged that Sony had updated the PlayStation Home record, exciting many who believe the company may revive the service at some point. By the way, some are already trying to do this with their own means.

Last year the team behind the Destination Home project, which aims to revive what was PlayStation Home, a closed beta of the service has started.

Obviously, many people would like to return or access this virtual world of PlayStation for the first time.

In the video above, which captures the final moments before PlayStration Home went offline, you can see comments that capture a bit of what PlayStation Home represented to some:

“Omg I miss PS Home! I had a lot of fun and made a lot of friends.”

“I remember playing 11 years ago in 2010 and meeting so many great people and talking about the newest Call Of Duty and just having fun… it’s sad to see it gone and looking at the pictures always brings tears to my eyes.” .

“It’s been years since I played this game. I spent my lonely high school days playing this game and it was fantastic.”

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