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Home's virtual items rake in more than movies

Tateru Nino

While Sony's virtual-environment multiplayer matchmaker and social space Home (presently in open beta) is getting something of a padding by the media, it's mostly a case of the dog being paddled for not being a cat. Most of the criticisms seem to revolve around Home not being something it wasn't designed or intended to be.

Despite all of this, the reported exploits, assorted bad user behavior, concomitant censorship and complaints about the advertising, virtual item sales -- clothing and accessories for avatars -- are reportedly going quite strongly, particularly when compared to the sales of movies within the service.

That really begs the question, though, if you can't make movies compelling in the living-room, then you're probably doing something wrong. However, allowing people complex interactions via their avatars and allowing customization, seems to make clothes horses even of the boys.

That virtual clothing is taking in more than the films is interesting, considering that the films are considerably more profitable, being that that theatrical and DVD releases have already paid for production, whereas new virtual clothing requires artists, design and testing but costs considerably less to the consumer.

Perhaps the catalog of movies available doesn't appeal to the audience that Home appeals to. Maybe its movies that they already have -- in which case, why would they necessarily want to have them again? Perhaps it is that users can't club together to share the cost of watching a film together. Whatever it is, the primarily-male participants prefer to shop for clothes than to watch movies, at least judging by the income.

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