PlayStation Home is about to experience the single biggest upgrade since the service was launched.

Today, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) has revealed major changes for the social service; specifically, a shift in focus that caters to the target audience: gamers. This new change will come about this fall, so get ready.

Home will be redesigned around an all-new Hub that integrates games, quests, community events and user-generated content, all the while still providing users with familiar features, like navigation, shopping, socializing and general entertainment. The Hub will connect you to four different genre-based districts; Home boss Jack Buser told us it'd be sort of like Disney World in that way. Furthermore, they will introduce a brand new questing system, which turns Home itself into one giant video game. Said Buser:

"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. With this update, coming this fall, PlayStation Home becomes a game itself, making it the most robust gamified social experience available."

With a "dynamic and constantly changing pool of activities and challenges throughout the Hub and districts," Home will become a gamer's haven. Here's a brief explanation of each of the four districts:

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.

In addition, Sony will release a separate core client upgrade as part of the revamp; this upgrade "will deliver a more streamlined experience upon login with customized tracks for new, returning and regular PlayStation Home users." Home has soared since its inception in December 2008; there are over 23 million users worldwide, the average session duration per user is 70 minutes, and there are no less than 230 games ready-to-play.

The end result? A new service that still lets you do everything you always did (that won't change) along with a new centralized focus on our favorite hobby. Stay tuned for more; later we'll deliver Buser's thoughts on this when we talked to him last week.

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TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Sounds interesting. I hope that they don't lose the slight air of whimsy that Home has right now though. There are enough elements to Home that exist purely for the heck of it, and I hope that they don't loose that feel completely.

duomaxwell007
duomaxwell007
9 years ago

From what I read o kotaku the theater will be one of the things to go… if that happens what will happen to our PSXE episodes viewings and gatherings?

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Why would the theater go? Unless it's replaced by something else, such as delivery to screens in personal spaces…? The existing Home spaces such as the bowling alley, theater, mall and plaza have become familiar landmarks to so many in Home, there's a great risk of alienating those users with such wholesale change to Home.


Last edited by TheHighlander on 8/23/2011 10:28:42 AM

duomaxwell007
duomaxwell007
9 years ago

I have no clue why it would go but that what is quoted as what one of the officials said in the kotaku article.. also isnt the central plaza a landmark too? thats going… and lastly I notice there is no "RPG Hub" heh

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

The theater isn't going anywhere.

Please don't go to Kotaku for news.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Well, Duo, I figured that either Adventure Park would handle that, or one of the more publisher specific spaces. If Sony can ever get some decent creation tools in the hands of users, I'd have a go at making an RPG themed area myself.

duomaxwell007
duomaxwell007
9 years ago

nah Highlander Im afraid of what kinda RPG themed place youd make… i think Ill do that myself :p heh

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

You don't like Cutesy Anime styled JRPGs?

::blinks::

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

lol @Ben. Kotaku: all your Playstation misinformation in one place.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 8/23/2011 3:18:11 PM

Lord carlos
Lord carlos
9 years ago

Have to say i've not been in home since the beta went public,might check this out.

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
9 years ago

You should check the theater out when PSXE has get together going on!

Ignitus
Ignitus
9 years ago

Me too, after the bowling alley fun wore out I got bored in HOME and it's been a while since I haven't come back.

With these news I will check it out again.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

Please keep chess. Other than that I look forward to the changes, as much as I didn't mind the layout of Home I'm glad to see Sony keeping interest in it. Seems most of the people that bash on Home either never even tried it or haven't in years.

Bloodysilence19
Bloodysilence19
9 years ago

looking at what the hub is going to look like, it looks pretty good. I like that they divided each thing into categories that helps a-lot. I just hope once this big update happens no big bugs and glitches start happening. Every update home gets theirs tends to have bugs such as items disappear from people or error codes with items. The big thing i hope this update will fix is people who freeze home up, which than locks your ps3 up and also people who hack/glitch home out so two of the same person ends up being in the same place. overall cant wait for this update.


Last edited by Bloodysilence19 on 8/23/2011 12:30:30 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Home needs better exception handling. Whatever other players do, if Home locks and dies, the worst that should happen is that you hit the PS button and exit.

Fane1024
Fane1024
9 years ago

Sony can't (or won't) get the browser to work that way. What hope is there for something as complex as Home?

tlpn99
tlpn99
9 years ago

Is this part of what you couldn't talk about last week Ben ? Or is that something totally unrelated ?

Sounds good, I should visit Home soon for the zombie experience regardgin Dead Island.

TheAgingHipster
TheAgingHipster
9 years ago

On a totally unrelated note, this was the first time I've come to this site in months with my speakers on. The "New 5 Vortex" interactive ad on the top right of the screen scared the living hell out of me.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

peerblocker is your friend.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
9 years ago

I use Mozilla's Firefox, & added Ad-Block… no more intrusive ads.
And I can turn it off & on in order to check out the ads occasionally.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Still need a way to challenge other avatars to a duel.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

It's a shame you didn't see Red Dead to the end. One of the best gaming experiences I've had as far as storyline and characters. Had I played this in 2010 it would have been my GOTY.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

If and when I get a cowboy itch I can pick up where I left off. In general my interests move in and out of areas at different intervals, for a month it will be medieval fantasy, then sci fi, the I'll get obsessed with Japanese culture (Yakuza 4, various animes) and occasionally I watch Tombstone and slip into cowboy mode. Mayhaps I'll still see that end ūüôā

UK_MrSim_UK
UK_MrSim_UK
9 years ago

They should develop a gladiator ring space.

UK_MrSim_UK
UK_MrSim_UK
9 years ago

My problem with Home is that even though I enjoy it from time to time, it feels slow and somewhat clunky. One of the best features they could possibly include is to be able to play your own music. In terms of audio, Home is about as interesting as watching paint dry.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

it IS slow. Even aside from downloading stuff every few minutes I wanna be able to run as fast as Cole in inFamous 2.

Fane1024
Fane1024
9 years ago

Don't let the twitch mentality get you too, World.

I do feel the urge to climb stuff when I visit Home after playing inFAMOUS, though.

Douchebaguette
Douchebaguette
9 years ago

Having it accessible towards PSN's variety of outside vital or smaller features – to an extent that [if chosen] could pop up the moment you turn on your PS3 to use such as an alternative interface would be awesome stuff.

Balz
Balz
9 years ago

I played home and it was boring. The most fun I had was just sitting on a park bench for like a hour. I will try it again when they redo it, but I am not really into the whole roleplaying, second life like idea of HOME.

Would be nice if you went into the sports area and it was like a sports bar with different live sports playing. Thats the type of thing that would make it great.