For as far as Sony’s virtual living space PlayStation Home has come since its launch back in December, it still hasn’t quite managed to capture the hearts and minds of all PS3 users. The space is certainly doing solid business for Sony, but that’s only been possible because the service has been able to appeal to a non-traditional audience.
According to PlayStation Home’s director, Pete Edward, “Only 80 percent of users fall into the 18-35-year-old male demographic," which, as Gamasutra reports, is 10 percent less than the typical console audience for that demographic. Edward's went on to say, "Home has a significantly broader spectrum of users than your typical console audience...We are slowly broadening the appeal of the console demographic."
It sounds a bit strange to hear someone say “Only the noticeable majority…,” but it’s easy to see Edward's point. Plus, it’s not all that surprising, since Sony clearly wanted Home to be something that would appeal to the growing casual gamers market, and designed it as such. And PS3’s higher price point surely accounts for a good chunk of those 35-year-old-plus users, not to mention the fact that that average age of gamers these days is hovering around the higher end of that 18-35 market spectrum.
Although, I find it hard to believe that 20 percent of PS3 owners aren't at least semi-core gamers, unless that 20 percent represents the number of kids whose parents have bought a system for them. But if that's the case, then PlayStation Home has broadened the traditional console demographics through no success of its own, but rather through its mere availability on the PS3. After all, I'm fairly certain people aren't buying PS3s for Home, but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there are a bunch of 12-year-olds and 45-year-olds flocking to stores to purchase PS3s by the armfuls precisely because of the kind of experience that Home provides.
What’s your take on PlayStation Home at this point? What do you hope to see from the space in the future?