SONY is perfectly poised to beat Microsoft to the punch in the metaverse but it needs to revive a long-dead PlayStation feature.
Sony has found itself on the backfoot with the news that Microsoft is buying Activision — the publisher behind Call of Duty.
Combined with its 2020 Bethesda acquisition, Xbox will be home to a huge library of games that could be blocked from PlayStation console owners.
While Sony can fight back by appealing to the Federal Trade Commission and the EU Competition Commission, it's still going to struggle to keep up.
But there's one area that it already has a head start in and could be perfectly poised to launch in the not-too-distant future.
The Activison deal is Microsoft's push to enter the metaverse but Sony has the perfect hardware and software combo to beat it to the punch.
First up is the hardware; Microsoft bowed out of the VR/ AR race a while ago when it scrapped the Kinect.
Sony has doubled down in the meantime, and is set to launch the PS VR2 soon.
But an almost decade-old app that never left beta could be the key to ushering in the PS5 metaverse.
PlayStation Home rolled out in 2008 for the PS3 and was in beta until the plug was pulled in 2015.
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Players could create an avatar, live in a virtual apartment, and visit public spaces for entertainment, and meeting people.
Avatars and apartments were customisable with free or paid options, and the public areas were also home to ads.
Basically, it was the metaverse before the term started getting bandied around.
While it's not the only app or game that fits into that category and pre-dates the concept as we know it now, it could be revived alongside PS VR2.
With VR worlds like The Sandbox and Decentraland popping up, that have some negative connotations due to their involvement with cryptocurrency, PlayStation Home can offer an unbridled gaming experience free from the controversy of NFTs and crypto.
Of course, now that game developers and publishers are all jumping on the NFT bandwagon, that probably won't be the case.
But the company has the tools at its disposal to hit back at Microsoft in the one place it hasn't forged ahead yet.
Sony doesn't have the same budget as Microsoft, and it hasn't developed cloud gaming or game streaming services to compete on the same level.
PlayStation Home and PS VR2 could be its secret killer combo to strike back.
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