Checking in on PlayStation Home

home-mallBack in December, we examined Sony’s attempt to catch up with Microsoft and Nintendo in the console wars with its realistic virtual world, PlayStation Home.  Since this product involved more than 18 months of development time, people have begged the question: How is Home doing now?

Despite the fact Home received some negative reviews when it first launched, it has garnered a fairly large user base since then. Jack Buser, director of PlayStation Home for the United States, gave an update about the virtual world at the Game Developers Conference.

Buser talked primarily about developer opportunities within Home. For starters, he said Sony would launch at least three promotional spaces a month, providing a new area for players to interact with friends and explore Home more deeply. Buser said that building a strong community will separate Home from competitor products, according to Eurogamer.

“If you look at some of our competition, they really struggle with the idea of community and how to foster a community on their platform,” he says. “Home is the true community for PlayStation 3.”

Reinforcing this statement, he showcased a “good space” within Home, which had around 250,000 visits weekly in the U.S., with 75 percent of users spending more than 10 minutes there.

He also noted that PlayStation Home currently has more than five million worldwide users (2.2 million within the U.S.). Their average playtime within the virtual world is about 40 minutes. While Buser did not disclose how many unique or concurrent users Home has attracted, Sony has invested a lot of time and money into Home. One can only hope it continues to grow.