When it finally got its production-delayed PlayStation 3 to market late last year, Sony got pasted in the Christmas sales derby by Nintendo’s Wii and Microsoft’s Xbox.
At the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the company announced new initiatives to bump up sales and try to reverse the flagging fortunes of the game platform.
For its part, Sony’s new Home is described as an online world similar to the Internet phenom Second Life. In Home (expected for a Fall 2007 release) PS3 gamers will be able to meet, chat, share content and compete with friends inside a 3D universe. Home is Sony’s attempt to compete against Microsoft’s Xbox Live, which helps players meet and compete over broadband Internet. “It’s about community, collaboration and customization,” says Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios president Phil Harrison. “We want to start a movement called Game 3.0. It’s about emerging entertainment, powered by the audience at the centre of the experience.”
As part of its drive to answer PS3 critics and drive sales, Sony is also launching the online game LittleBigPlanet. LBP will let users create their own levels and characters for an online game and share them with other PS3 gamers around the world.