MS: PlayStation Home "a nice chat room"

And "not an awful lot more".

Sony's free virtual world PlayStation Home has come in for more stick this time from console rival Microsoft.

"It's a nice chat room I guess, not an awful lot more," was the damning verdict from UK marketing manager Stephen McGill in an interview with Eurogamer sister site GamesIndustry.biz.

"That's not something that we're looking at. I'm not sure what their learnings are from the Home experience."

Home has suffered scepticism from press and consumers since launch over a perceived lack of content.

Sony, however, has described it as a "huge success".

"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 service's director Jack Buser said this year.

As of December last year Home, which is still in open beta, had 10 million users although Sony didn't specify how it defined users.

Apparently, every virtual item created for Home has been profitable, and 70-minute sessions are the average for those who play regularly.

"We've released over 5000 virtual items on the platform, and we know that once those items reach maturity, they are profitable," Buser 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."

Microsoft, however, is happy to pass.

"The honest answer is that, online we're following our own agenda," Neil Thompson, general manager for Xbox in the UK and Ireland, said.

"It's been pretty successful for us over the last four or five years. We're focusing on what we think we can drive and that's where our energies are going to go."

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