Computer-graphic worlds are similar to “Second Life”
Players can personalise their avatars
CHIBA(Japan): Video game rivals Sony and Microsoft are going head-to-head in virtual worlds for their home consoles later this year.
Both companies announced their services, which use graphic images that represent players called “avatars,” on Thursday at the Tokyo Game Show.
Sony Corp.’s twice delayed online “Home” virtual world for the PlayStation 3 console will be available sometime later this year, while U.S. software maker Microsoft Corp., which competes with its Xbox 360, is starting “New Xbox Experience” worldwide on November 19.
Microsoft’s service will be adapted to various nations, but people will be able to communicate with other Xbox 360 users around the world.
The real-time interactive computer-graphic worlds are similar to Linden Lab’s “Second Life,” which can be played on personal computers and has drawn millions of people.
In the so-called “metaverse” in cyberspace, players manipulate digital images called “avatars” that represent themselves, engaging in relationships, social gatherings and businesses.
Internet search leader Google Inc. has unveiled a similar three-dimensional software service called “Lively.” Japanese companies have also set up such communities for personal computers.
In both Sony’s and Microsoft’s virtual worlds, players can personalise their avatars, choosing hairstyles and facial features. Mr. Akagawa said avatars will be able to dress up like heroes in hit video games. — AP