December 12, 2008 // 8:53 pm
- Microsoft's Director of Product Management for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Aaron Greenberg
has stood by his view that Home feels like Second Life for hardcore gamers.
"What always happens with the Internet is people isolate specific comments and things that you say, but you don't always hear the full story. I do believe what I said is actually the case, and I do stand by that. But at the same time, we recognize Sony as a very formidable competitor," he said.
He went onto say that the Home experience feels like "a 2005 experience in 2008" and that he's not sure it's something that will help Sony sell consoles or bring in a broader audience.
To quote: You got some gamers riled up when you told Kotaku, "What Home to me feels like is Second Life for hardcore gamers. It doesn't feel like it broadens the experience and invites people in. When they unveiled it, it seemed innovative. I think what's happened is now here we are a couple of years later and we're beyond that. It feels like 2005 tech in 2008. I'm not sure that's what people want."
Is that being too harsh? This is a major feature upgrade to the console. It's still in beta, it will add more features. Isn't it too early to just discount this as "old tech"?
Yeah, yeah. I think it's fair to address that. What always happens with the Internet is people isolate specific comments and things that you say, but you don't always hear the full story. I do believe what I said is actually the case, and I do stand by that.
But at the same time, we recognize Sony as a very formidable competitor, and the fact that they're making investments in online validates what we have believed for years. When we launched the original Xbox years ago, we bet on the fact that you could actually create an online community in the living room.
On the comments about Home, if you look back at when this was actually announced, it was when things like Second Life and virtual worlds were still having some popularity. I think what's happened since then is people have "been there, done that."
They've realized virtual worlds are fun for a short time, but it's hard to keep those worlds fresh and exciting and keeping people coming back and keeping them safe for all ages. We've seen what's happened to Second Life and what's happened with Google's Lively project, which is now closing.
It's tough. Online innovation happens at a much faster pace than hardware innovation. The challenge on us as companies is to stay on the cutting edge. As I look at the Home experience, it feels like a 2005 experience in 2008. It feels like Second Life for hardcore gamers. And I'm not sure that's something that will help Sony sell consoles or bring in a broader audience.
That said, we don't underestimate Sony, and what they bring to the market.