Sony Gearing Up To Challenge Apple TV, Unbox

by: Aaron Krawitz

Sony (NYSE:SNE) has recently released additional screenshots and details of its Sony Home application. For those who haven’t heard the rumors, Sony Home will be free for all Playstation 3 users and it will be a virtual community, much like Linden Labs’ SecondLife.

Sony Home users will similarly be able to create avatars, chat with other users and own real estate.

Unlike Second Life, which can be lacking in terms of graphics and online games, Home leverages PS3’s gorgeous graphics and multiplayer game playing abilities. SecondLife is also home to perverts roaming unchecked, whereas Sony virtual police will monitor Sony Home.

Sony is sure to gain fans through this maneuver as MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) are gaining popularity at an enormous rate. For example, SecondLife now has well over 4 million registered members.

Stockholders should also be aware that Sony Home, although currently free, can be a possible lucrative revenue source. Sony plans to use Home to generate premium content that can only be accessed by paying or by submitting PS3 points. In addition, the sprawling Home landscape will be an easy way to make a profit off of in-game advertising.

Rumors abound that Sony is positioning itself through Home to challenge Apple TV (NASDAQ:AAPL) as well as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and TiVo’s (NASDAQ:TIVO) Unbox. After all, Sony Home has movie theaters that are capable of streaming movie previews and other content right onto one’s TV. For those who are eager to start playing, you’ll have to wait a bit as the Sony Home release date is November 2007.

Disclosure: Author has no position in SNE