According to Sony, PlayStation Home, the PS3 virtual world/lobby, has been a big success.
Speaking to Gamasutra, PlayStation Home director Jack Buser said, "The proof is in the pudding...With numbers like we have, it goes without saying that Home has been a huge success for our company, something that we have been very proud of."
The numbers in question aren't really the profit numbers for that division of Sony -- those numbers are not public. Instead, Buser talked avatar items. "We've released over 5,000 virtual items on the platform, and we know that once those items reach maturity, they are profitable," he said. "So you see us creating a tremendous amount of virtual items, because it is such a high margin business for us to be in."
I would say that it is a very good business model for PlayStation, and quite profitable, I might add," Buser said of the micro-transaction model that powers Home. "I like to say it's one of the highest-margin businesses in the games industry."
"[gamers are] understanding that through micropayments, they can gain social context and social capital, or they can through gameplay context, upgrade their gameplay experience through microtransactions. And that's just becoming part of gaming."
So, you guys are gamers... are you interested in gaining social capital through buying new hats for your fake, video game self? Or are you more like me, and see the whole thing as sort of silly?