Sony Interactive CEO Jim Ryan has discussed PlayStation’s plans for the Metaverse in a 2022 interview with investors from Fidelity. The interview has been posted to Reddit where the poster states that some of the questions were previously redacted.
It should be noted that this interview with investors is apparently from 2022. I can’t find an original source for this interview so I can’t verify if the questions and answers in the interview are accurate. You can read what I presume is the full transcript from the interview on the r/PS5 Subreddit.
In the interview, PlayStation Chief Jim Ryan is asked about Sony’s Metaverse strategy and whether PS VR2 will play a role in this strategy.
A PlayStation Home revival for Sony’s Metaverse strategy?
Q: What is Sony’s metaverse strategy? How big of a role will VR2 play there? Is it for gaming only, or will it be for something broader in terms of applications and markets?
JR: We’re approaching metaverse conversations through 2 lenses. First is as a platform holder. We had something called PlayStation Home for the PS3 and that was a very early manifestation of a platform metaverse. It was probably 10- 15 years ahead of its time. The second is from the studio perspective. We have a couple of projects underway that are very exciting for us, in terms of creating some sort of game-type metaverse which can possibly have collaboration with other parts of Sony. Sony’s entertainment assets have huge potential in the metaverse area. As for VR2, we see it as having a role down the road, more in the mid-term.
First of all, the wording that Jim Ryan uses is pretty smart. “We’re approaching metaverse conversations through 2 lenses” because the PS VR2 has 2 lenses. So kudos to Jim for that one. Secondly, it is interesting that Mr Ryan mentioned PlayStation Home. Especially as he states that it was “10- 15 years ahead of its time.”
According to Wikipedia, PlayStation Home lasted about 7 years. From the launch of its open beta test on December 11, 2008, to its closure on March 31, 2015. I remember messing around in PS Home back in the PS3 days, it was pretty fun at the time and I remember you could play pool and 10-pin bowling. I am not entirely sure why Sony didn’t keep PlayStation Home going into the PS4 generation.
But with Jim Ryan’s mention of PS Home and the fact that he said it was ahead of its time, it’s clear that Sony doesn’t see PlayStation Home as a failed project. It is possible we might see a PlayStation Home revival of sorts, maybe a remaster if you will for PS5 and PlayStation VR2.
Jim Ryan’s second statement about a “game-type metaverse” is also quite interesting. I’m not entirely sure what a game-type metaverse is but PlayStation Home had lots of games that you could play whilst in the Home application.
If you recall back to Sony’s 2023 CES press conference, you’ll remember that Sony talked about their collaboration with Premiership Football side Manchester City. The gist of this is that fans could watch match highlights from the player’s perspective – in Virtual Reality I would presume. The metaverse is also mentioned during the CES press conference. This could tie in with Jim Ryan’s statement that this game-type metaverse can collaborate with other parts of Sony.
So where does PS VR2 fit into all of this? Well, Jim Ryan thinks that it will have “a role down the road, more in the mid-term.” PS VR2 users have been talking about a PlayStation Home revival and how PS VR2 could be used in the PlayStation version of the metaverse since before PS VR2 launched. What Sony has planned though is anyone’s guess, but it seems clear that they do actually have something planned.