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Sony redesigning Home as social games hub

by Steve Watts, Aug 23, 2011 8:15am PDT
Related Topics – PlayStation Home, PlayStation 3, Sony

Sony is revamping PlayStation Home, with a new emphasis on social games. The virtual world will still allow for socializing in virtual spaces, but it will replace the central meeting space with a new area called "The Hub" -- the home for a Home meta-game and the starting point for various activities like games and quests.

"This is a giant leap in the evolution of the platform," Home director Jack Buser told VentureBeat. "We are going to 'up level' games as the heart of PlayStation Home. This means that Home itself is going to become a game. The first things you see when you get into Home are games."

The update is expected sometime this fall, paired with a core update to streamline the service. At that point, users will be able to teleport to free games from the Hub, or to areas that specialize in game genres. These include the Action District, Sportswalk, Adventure District, and Pier Park which features rides and carnival games. The Hub itself will also support missions to fulfill in the game world itself, such as defending the world from an attack. Users can also create events for friends.

Home has been a financial success story for Sony, despite disinterest from some core gamers. As the appeal of virtual worlds starts to fade, a focus on social games might capture some of the dramatic success of services like Facebook.





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