While there’s no doubt that PlayStation Home has been fairly successful, many gamers still roll their eyes when they hear about it (more or less the same reaction they have when they hear about Second Life). The reason behind that reaction is probably the fact that PlayStation Home isn’t focusing on gaming as much as they’d like.
Looks like Sony isn’t giving up, though, as they announced today that Playstation Home will undergo a major redesign this fall, turning into a quasi-MMORPG experience, with quests and missions to be completed and a stronger focus on gaming.
Jack Buser, director of PlayStation Home says:
With this update, coming this fall, PlayStation Home becomes a game itself, making it the most robust gamified social experience available”
Whether “gamified” is a proper word or not (my spell checker underlines it in bright red) the project looks interesting, and definitely seems ambitious.
The current layout will be replaced by a new one, obviously themed after gaming. Here’s how it’ll look:
- The Hub: The new, futuristic Hub brings games directly to players with a featured game front-and-center upon login, the Activity Board where players can engage in quests and community activities, and a direct path to free games via the teleporter.
- Action District: A gathering place for the hardcore demographic, the Action District has a gritty, urban feel reminiscent of a first-person shooter level and provides a direct travel point to action and horror games.
- Sportswalk: The Sportswalk has an exciting outside-the-stadium feel with instant major league sports scores, headlines and highlights, ample space for sports-themed games and provides direct travel points to sports-related games.
- Adventure District: The Adventure District drops you in a lush island jungle with an air of mystery, hidden treasure and discovery, where players will be able to launch directly into adventure-themed games.
- Pier Park: A waterfront boardwalk leads players to carnival, puzzle, outdoor and arcade games. Take a ride on the Pier Park Ferris wheel or visit the arcade for some bright entertainment.
An interesting tidbit is that the official press release explicitly talks about the inclusion of “user created content”, that at the moment is strictly excluded from the Home experience. It’ll be quite interesting to see how Sony intends to include it, considering the obvious moderation and policing problems that come with allowing users to design their own outfits and similar activities.
Now, if only Sony decided to do the right thing and remove the extremely annoying regional separation PlayStation Home suffers from, I’d be even more interested.