If you have read my first post on PlayStation Home you will have realized, how impressed I am with the theoretical potential of this platform and how disappointed I am with Sony's actual implementation and (probably) strategy.
No, I am NOT saying that “Home is doomed” because it seems to be a hangout reserved for testosterone-laden young males (that is the PS3’s main target group, after all) or because it does not offer all the features of Second Life. But the features that are missing clearly show, what makes SL so special and – Yes, I still dare to say this – "successful".
It's User Generated Content, Stupid!
Basically, we are talking about user generated content. Second Life makes it easy, to add content – and monetize it. In Home its is impossible to add ANY form of user generated content without an individually negotiated contract with Sony!
It is other users who created 99% of the content, which makes up Second Life. The same is true for IMVU and (to a limited extent for There).If you want to know more, about the importance of UGC in gamespace and virtual worlds, please check out this excellent paper! Even the first three or four dozen sims in Second Life way back in 2004 offered more variety, more surprises, more innovation, more entertainment than Sony’s artfully crafted world.
No, I am not exaggerating. Home in its current state is utterly boring after 10 hours max – if you are not interested in harmless chat with fellow gamers; which is probably not a fault of the platform as this might be its intended purpose. If this is not Sony's only intention ... they should implement a few changes (namely: open it up for content creators) or put in a lot more effort into content creation themselves. The story of Google's failed Lively platform clearly shows that it takes more than just some cool 3D scenes and a friendslist to create a sustainable platform!