Microsoft Exec Dismisses PlayStation Home as Nothing More Than a Chat Room

Logan Westbrook

Transform, Roll Out, Etc
Feb 21, 2008
Microsoft Exec Dismisses PlayStation Home as Nothing More Than a Chat Room

Microsoft's UK marketing manager says the company has no plans to release a rival to Sony's virtual meeting space.

Microsoft's Stephen McGill is unimpressed by Sony's efforts to create a virtual meeting room for PlayStation 3 owners. In fact, he doesn't think Home does much more than your common or garden chat room.

McGill said that Microsoft wasn't planning to make its own version of Home, adding that he wasn't sure that Sony was getting much in the way of useful data from the Home experience. McGill's comment refer to a common complaint about Home: that there simply isn't enough to do. Of course, McGill is a Microsoft employee, so you're not going to hear him saying overly positive things about Home, but even content developers for the platform say that it has had a few problems along the way.

The open beta for Home launched nearly two years ago, and since then it's struggled to hold gamers' attention. Last summer, Home's then platform director, Peter Edward, admitted [] that the majority of PSN users never return to Home after their first visit. Kirk Ewing, a developer for PlayStation Home content developer Veemee, said [] that despite a multitude of content updates, there was still a perception that Home wasn't very good.

Earlier this year, a question mark was raised [] over whether Sony was still able to get advertiser support for the service. Around 14 million users have tried Home, but unofficial figures suggest that the service has only 1.7 million return users. That's not a small number, but it represents less than 4% of the 50 million or so people using PSN, and with other avenues of advertising available on the PS3, Home hardly seems like the most cost effective way of marketing something.

It wouldn't surprise me if - contrary to what McGill might say - Sony is actually learning a great deal from the Home experience, even if a lot of it is learning through mistakes. With consoles makers courting casual gamers now as well as the traditional hardcore players, having experience in building virtual social areas may come in very useful. The real secret, however, is to get people coming back to the space time and time again, and that seems to be the part that Sony is yet to master.

Source: Games Industry []



Reachin' out...
Mar 7, 2010
Unsurprising words from Microsoft there. I suppose that rules them out of taking over Second Life, then.

The Lunatic

Jun 3, 2010
Home is pretty terrible.

My experience was a case of "Let's see what there is to do..."

"Okay, not that, that's £2.50."

"That's another £1."

"This is just a series of items which will cost me money."

"Oh look, there's somebody shouting profanities."


New member
Apr 12, 2008
The best thing to do in Home is to dress yourself like a pervert and run up to people and do the thumbs out dance.

When they run, you follow.


New member
Apr 3, 2010
I'll agree with that. played it for an hour, if that, when I first found it.

Bored out of my skull, the ENTIRE time.

Onyx Oblivion

Borderlands Addict. Again.
Sep 9, 2008
I thought everyone knew this? This a cheap, easy shot Microsoft, saying Home sucks is like stating that the sky is blue.

Tried Home for an hour, it's the biggest piece of crap since those useless Wii channels.

noble cookie

New member
Aug 6, 2010
Wait, what? I mean, i don't own a PS3 and have never used home. But I thought home was


a chatroom.

Bender Rodriguez

New member
Sep 2, 2010
Never used Playstatiion Home much, its just too bad....everything loads slowly (not cause of my internet line)
Not much to do and you'll lose your friends if they saw you there.


New member
Jun 19, 2008
You know, there was a time when Home actually looked like something promising and everyone was excited for it. It actually looked kinda cool. But then they delayed it. And again. And again...

Now it's a huge joke.

I don't see why McGill felt it necessary to bring this up again. Why would Microsoft make a rival for Home?


New member
Apr 6, 2010
It's a sad time for gaming now that it's dominated by bickering fans and bickering companies.

Mylinkay Asdara

Waiting watcher
Nov 28, 2010
The concept of Home is fundamentally flawed. If it is a place to hang out with people you meet on the PSN... then you'd do that in the games you play with them anyway and don't need Home to interact with them. If it is a place for you to meet people, then it is inferior in every way to a game environment, and people who play console games are not exactly the type to just go a chat room and hope to meet people - most of the PSN games start out at least as single players taken online for multiplayer.

It is basically like a bar or a club where you go with no objective other than to meet people and then promptly fail to do so because everyone in there is trying to do the same thing. What do you talk about? How crappy Home is, of course. It is not just a failed theory it is a theory that should have failed before it was brought to the light of actuality.