Monday, 5 May 2008

Pioneer Pioneering in Second Life

Japanese home electronics company, Pioneer, was the destination for today's promenade. I recall that VeeJay covered this site a while back, but I didn't get around to visiting it at the time, forgot about it, and only (re-)discovered it by accident, while browsing the map for somewhere interesting to go. Actually, I am not sure that this sim gets into the "interesting" category - as we shall see...

The Pioneer Corporation has been producing home entertainment products since 1938, and is perhaps best known for its speakers and hi-fi systems. In recent times it has embraced digital technologies, such as Blu Ray DVD and HD TVs. The island in Second Life is primarily aimed at promoting lines that are unique to the Japanese marketplace, such as the 'Kuro' home cinema system - or 'systems', as there are 4 such systems in the range. You will also find a stand for their Pure Malt speakers(!) - whose cabinets are made from 50-year old whiskey barrels. These have been sold in Japan for years, but have been available internationally for about a year now.

The principal feature is a roadway that twists and turns around the island, and that is intended to pull the site together and provide it with some sort of coherence. You can rez a car if you want to drive round the island (and/or race your mates) - but I don't feel the roadway helped much.

You arrive at a reception building, where you can take a short tour of the Pioneer museum - in effect, a less-than-thrilling tour through the history of the company. After this, you can make your way outside to avail yourself of the charms of the 'Pioneer Resort Island'. The largest building is the 2-floor, cylindrical tower promoting their audio-visual treats, in the form of the Kuro range and Pure Malt speakers, mentioned earlier. You can rez a tour balloon, but this is neither comprehensive in locations visited, nor informative in any language. If you choose to walk, there are some show-houses, where you can see the Kuro home cinema in situ. Apart from that. there's a couple of camping areas - one in the Blu Ray dance arena, and one on the beach itself. Freebies are available in the form of T-shirts and Kuro home cinema packs.

Here's a selection of pictures for you to peruse:

Is this site any good? To be diplomatic, I think it is rather 'disappointing'. It has limited content, the interactivity is dull and lifeless, and the whole place feels rather disjointed. It is very much like most company promotional sims - and like most such sims, is unlikely to show any return on the investment. Incidentally, I gather from the comments on the Mindblizzard post, that the site was not even promoted in Japan.

So to conclude: despite the title of this post, this is far from being a pioneering build.

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