An extreme home makeover is underway that has nothing to do with reality television. PlayStation Home is being completely redesigned for a fall 2011 reveal, according to an announcement from Sony Computer Entertainment America.
It will no longer be the virtual world it was when it launched in 2008. Now PlayStation Home will offer a broader range of games, from social and casual games to immersive console challenges. There are already 230 games to play and 9,000 virtual items in place.
Central to the experience will be the Hub, a central point of entry from where players can get an overview of the available games, quests, community events and user-generated content. Gamers can then either “teleport” to free games and other districts, or explore other shopping, socialization and entertainment options. Additionally, the Hub will have its own activities, games and opportunities to earn virtual items.
Jack Buser, director of PlayStation Home, SCEA, said the revamp is part of PlayStation Home’s evolution from being a 3D virtual world into being a world of gaming.
“PlayStation Home’s new core experience is a giant leap in the evolution of the platform, not to mention a major milestone for PlayStation Network, and its new model quickly deploys our users to many compelling free-to-play games that fit their interests,” he said. “With this update, coming this fall, PlayStation Home becomes a game itself, making it the most robust gamified social experience available.”
In addition to the Hub, there will be four additional new zones, making it easier for users to find the type of activity they’re in the mood for. Each has an environment suited to its specialty: Action District, a gritty place for action and horror games; Sportswalk, featuring instant major league sports scores, headlines and highlights along with sports games; Adventure District, designed like a mysterious island jungle with hidden treasure and adventure-themed games; and Pier Park, a waterfront boardwalk home for carnival, puzzle, outdoor and arcade games.
SCEA reports PlayStation Home has more than 23 million registered users, with an average session time of 70 minutes per session.
PlayStation Home – http://tinyurl.com/6ej82uh