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What Really Went Wrong With PlayStation Home

Sony has had its own history of mishaps over the years, but what company hasn't? Some ideas sound great in theory, but sometimes the execution doesn't pan out the way a company expects. This was definitely the case when Sony created PlayStation Home, a service that was just outright underwhelming. When Sony was gearing up to debut the service for PlayStation 3 owners, comparisons to Second Life – a popular social platform and virtual world during the early 2000s — were made. The platform did get critiques for being a clone, but it was different enough from Second Life to stand out on its own, albeit not for the right reasons.


When PlayStation Home launched for the PlayStation 3 in 2008, it initially wasn't a failure. With dozens of customizable avatars, homes, and cooperative play, the service provided what it promised players back when it was announced in 2007. The only problem was that it never really took off. Explanations for why this was the case vary, but essentially, there were a ton of small issues that snowballed when lumped together.

PlayStation Home was a second-rate Second Life experience

One of the main issues with PlayStation Home was that it relied heavily on microtransactions for customizations. This was a massive problem since the main appeal of the platform was, in fact, personalizing your character or home. Considering the fact that the meat of the game was essentially locked behind a paywall, most people eventually started to fall off the PlayStation Home bandwagon.


PlayStation Home did offer a limited selection of games that users could play by themselves or with other friends, but it didn't really take off. At the time of its release, other platforms like Facebook were really nailing the social media formula, and Microsoft was working on technology that allowed people to play a variety of games together online. PlayStation Home had a bit of an identity crisis, and its player base eventually caught on that there was really nothing to this service other than creating an avatar and hanging out in a virtual space. This lack of unique appeal ultimately led to the death of PlayStation Home in 2015.