Sony revealed this morning its new online social network designed to generate interest in its PlayStation3 gaming console. PlayStation3 has suffered thus far due to its high price tag ($600) and product shortages. At the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Phil Harrison, president of worldwide studios for Sony's Computer Entertainment division, described the components of the network in a keynote address. Game 3.0, he said, will redefine gaming in that it incorporates user-generated content, enabling users to define their own gaming experience. Accessed through the PlayStation3 console, Home (the name of Sony's new service) allows users to create and develop online identities (avatars) as they move through a 3D world inhabited by other Home subscribers. Gamers can collect 'trophies' and other keepsakes from PS3 games and add them to their Home world. Separately, in an interview Harrison said that Sony sees PS3 as a bet on the future of the digital home; the console not only plays games but also allows users to download and share music and video files. Harrison also demonstrated a new game title, "LittleBigPlanet," which allows gamers to create their own games with materials found in the virtual world. He also unveiled a new set of developer tools for PS3 programmers.
Commentary: EA's Dr. Andrew Garrett: Skip the PlayStation3 • Sony Spin Factor • The Real Reason Nintendo Rules the Gaming World
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE). Competitors: Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT), Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY). ETFs: PowerShares Dynamic Leisure & Entertainment (NYSEARCA:PEJ)
Conference call transcript: Sony F3Q06 (Qtr End 12/31/06)
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