Microsoft is said to be using Sony's virtual world Home, on the PlayStation 3, for business meetings in an experiment featuring multiple companies looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions and cut costs.
The move is part of a project led by Dr Nipan Maniar and Manish Malik from Portsmouth University, which was commissioned by Advanced Workplace Associates and aims to explore how large companies can use virtual worlds to save money on office space and travel, as well as reduce their carbon footprints.
While Sony's online space doesn't feature a whisper or private text function, which is only available by using the PSN mail system, presumably companies could use each user's personal space as a private chat room or use voice chat to make in-game phone calls.
"Increasingly we are living in a world without borders where workers need to collaborate on a global scale," said the managing director of Advanced Workplace Associates, Andrew Mawson, according to GAAPweb.
"Audio and video-conferencing solutions have emerged but the use of virtual worlds may offer the next evolution in overcoming the tyranny of distance - a more realistic and learning-enhanced environment."
Other companies said to be involved are Ernst & Young and Merrill Lynch, but no mention was made whether Sony was taking part in this experiment.