Tuesday, October 14, 2008

XBOX and Playstation Simultaneously Releasing New Virtual Worlds

Sony (NYSE: SNE) and Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) are taking their game console war to the next level—launching dueling virtual environments in the next few weeks. Microsoft is rolling out the Xbox Live Experience November 19, while Sony’s much lauded (but also much delayed) Home is slated for a launch sometime later this year, according to AP. Both worlds let gamers create avatars, customize their “living spaces” and socialize, and each will feature third-party digital content. NewsFactor reports that Microsoft will bank on deals already inked with NetFlix, NBC Universal and the Sci-Fi Channel, among others, to supplement the Xbox Live Experience, and Sony’s Home will feature content designed by more than 24 gaming companies, according to an SCEA producer familiar with the project. Analysts peg the worlds as both part of the natural evolution of the console from a “gaming” system to a multimedia entertainment device, as well as attempts by the gaming giants to compete with wildly successful virtual worlds like Linden Lab’s Second Life. Still, there are differing opinions about which platform will attract more users.

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