PlayStation Home played by 17 million

Sony compares now and then.

A whopping 17 million people have walked the virtual streets of PlayStation Home, Sony has announced.

Mind you, it's free - perhaps the real story is that the remaining 22.2 million people with a PS3 haven't.

The numbers come on this, PlayStation Home's second birthday. A comparison chart between now and then, 2008 - launch of the open beta - has been posted on the US PlayStation Blog.

Then, Home had 0.2 million users; now, 17 million. Then, there were nine games to play; now, 236 games. Then, 114 virtual items; now, 7000. Then, 25 events; now, 600.

In January 2009, Sony announced that 10 million gamers inhabited PlayStation Home. How exactly this is measured - client downloads, avatars created - isn't mentioned.

Today, PlayStation Home is a fundamentally different place to the world and service Phil Harrison announced at the Game Developers Conference in early 2007. What was once to become an elaborate extrapolation of Achievements on Xbox Live has spiralled into an enormous world - a game in its own right.

Take Novus Prime as an example: it's a multiplayer space shooter where people can defend a space station, customise ships and partake in huge battles. Or there's the carnival area of Midway 2, where hundreds of games await your attention.

To that end, Sony plans much more of the same for 2011.

Conspiracy, available in January and made by Jet Set Games, will be a 3D multiplayer game that involves stealing from the enemy. And then in spring, PlayStation Home veteran Outso will deliver Sodium 2, with more customisable jet racers, faster speeds and louder songs.

Incidentally, PlayStation Home is still considered by Sony to be in beta.

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