Are advertisers bailing out on Sony's virtual world? According to a report filed by Brand Week, that is indeed the case as advertisers move out of the lagging PlayStation Home virtual world and set their sights on Microsoft's Xbox Live service.
Sony seems to be the blame for the slow revolt thanks to its "slow-footed nature" in the way it embraces advertising. Brand Week even called PlayStation Home a disappointment.
"The product has disappointed both users and advertisers," Brand Week said. "In fact, Red Bull remains one of the few non-endemic advertisers to carve out space in the world."
The console-based virtual world may have been doomed from the start. The overall concept was conceived during a time when it was believed that surfers wanted to socialize in virtual worlds rather than using the Facebook and Twitter socializing aspect we see today.
But as it turned out, many web surfers wanted something quick and easy. In contrast, PlayStation Home offers an awkward first impression and then provides little meat thereafter.
Brand Week's report adds that advertisers are actually more interested in the PlayStation Network itself. However Sony has designed a multimedia network that only advertises products available in the store-- you won't see ads for Doritos or other similar products.
"It was not really built with an advertiser’s mind-set," said John Rafferty, creative director at Publicis’ Denuo.
Many critics acknowledge that Sony is pulling itself together. The virtual world now offers more minigames and microsites than it did at launch, and supposedly is in a better place as a competitor with Xbox Live.
"Sony is a little more conservative in embracing their system as an ad platform," said Dario Raciti, director of Ignition Factory at OMD "They just have less people."