Ford's showroom on PlayStation Home. Image: Ford Motor Company

Ford's showroom on PlayStation Home. Image: Ford Motor Company

Shopping for cars on a PlayStation 3 is nothing new: in fact, virtually every racing game lets you view and even test drive cars ranging from the mundane to the exotic. Ford has realized that there may be an opportunity beyond brand licensing to game companies, so the automaker has opened a virtual showroom in Sony’s PlayStation Home.

You can’t really buy a car through the PS3 console (yet, at least),  and Ford doesn’t have every model rendered and on display. In fact, users (or their avatars) can only view the Fiesta and the Edge, which seems to be an odd mix given the average gamer’s demographic.

Check in to the dealership, and your avatar gets a Ford t-shirt. You can then wander the showroom and check out the interior and exterior of the two models. Just as in real life, a salesman (sorry, a virtual Ford representative) is on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Here’s where it gets interesting: the virtual showroom allows users to pair a virtual cell phone with Ford’s SYNC system, which then launches three interactive games. There’s a music quest, a turn-by-turn directions quest and a phone quest, and players win virtual prizes by completing levels successfully. Ford also gets to introduce the SYNC system to consumers in a fun, friendly manner, which should help educate consumers about how easy the SYNC interface is to use.

[Ford, via Autoevolution]