Sony Closes The Door To PlayStation Home In Japan
PlayStation Home always seemed a little weird to me. I understand the concept of controlling your avatar in a 3D social platform and creating a social hub for all PlayStation Network users. However, Home to me always felt like I had just finished a night of raiding and was just running around Stormwind City waiting for my dailies to reset. Yes, mini-games and multimedia applications were developed inside Home, and the way Sony uses the virtual environment to create a replica of its E3 showroom floor has always been a fun feature. But, overall it has never been the solid ecosystem that Sony Computer Entertainment London intended on creating.
The amount of people that sign into Home has vastly decreased over the years since its launch in 2008. In response, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan announced yesterday that they are shutting the doors to PlayStation Home in Japan and Asia by the end of March 2015. Even though Sony claims to support Home until early 2015, this seems like more of a formality since content sales will no longer be available after September 24th.
So what does this mean for the rest of Home users? While Sony has not officially stated as to whether they will continue to support this platform in the US or Europe. It seems inevitable that Sony will pull the plug on this project sometime next year in these regions as well. More news will likely become available after the Japanese and Asian Home servers are shut down in March.
Will this platform be missed? Well Sony seems to believe so and is planning a big sendoff in the form of a virtual going away party inside the Home ecosystem. Even though it has always lacked in popularity it is nice to see Sony give a little something to the loyal fans of this platform.
Being nearly seven years old, it was a really nice run for Playstation. However, with current technology, Sony could have made Home into a more relevant part of the PS4 ecosystem; by making it directly part of the OS the PS4 could act as the avatar’s dashboard. An avatar could then be used to represent the players PSN persona in a similar fashion to how Nintendo uses the Mii. 3D applications could be developed and able to launch directly from the OS instead of having to use them inside the PS3 application. Thus, making useful Home features more easily accessible
Although, after a seven year investment, Sony is apparently done trying to find a way to increase the relevancy of this once ambitious endeavor. Rest in peace PlayStation Home. You won’t be forgotten. Stay tuned to Playstation U.S. to see if this reach stretches to the Americas