Homeward bound, Sony launches its virtual world

SonyHomeSony Home, a virtual world for the Sony Playstation 3, launched today. While it remains termed as a “beta” launch, the software will showcase brand partners that were not available during the closed beta.

Red Bull will have a branded space, where players can fly the Red Bull plane around a course in a virtual air race. Diesel will have a virtual clothing storefront, and furniture shop Linge Roset is also establishing a presence in Home’s mall, along with furniture customization options. Paramount pictures will get in on the launch with promotion for the Watchmen film, including virtual Watchmen merchandise and an introduction by the film’s director.

Still in beta, some features are not yet available, such as the ability to share video content within private spaces with visitors. But it’s nice to see brands present at launch, and the case studies and traffic numbers in the next month will prove very interesting. Personally, I’m wondering how dynamic in-game ads within the many ad units scattered about the space will be utilized. After examining the units, I also wonder if Sony will be adding direct access to virtual storefronts through the ad units for brands with a virtual presence. This would provide an interesting direct response layer on top of the typically impression-focused dynamic in-game ads.