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No doubt about it: PlayStation Home has its hardcore devotees. And their numbers aren’t negligible: According to SCEA, 24 million users have visited Home worldwide, and the average time spent in Home is 70 minutes per session. Still, plenty of PlayStation gamers have completely eschewed Home, while others have visited at one time or another, to never return. How to lure more people into Home? It’s a challenge Sony is taking seriously, and their answer lies in the complete redesign of Home, launching tomorrow.

The biggest change: new genre-based districts, along with a fully redesigned Hub. The goal, according to PlaStation Home director Jack Buser, is to minimize the time to fun. “One of the big pieces of feedback we got from new users in Home is they would come into Home, and they couldn’t figure out what to do,” Buser told us in a recent interview about Home. A major problem, considering Home currently has more than 230 games and 800 community events. The new Hub, however, will greet visitors with a game right off the bat: indie gem Cogs will be playable the moment denizens enter Home, right in the center of the Hub. From the Hub, visitors can also access an Activity Board that includes a listing of everything available, ranging from community events and games to a full-featured questing system that will remember a gamer’s progress in any of the multitude of interconnected subquests.

From the Hub, gamers can also visit the different districts, all of which will launch with a selection of free-to-play games. FPS aficionados might want to mosey over to the Action District, where they can exchange bullets in Bootleggers ’29, a Prohibition-era shooter. Virtual jocks can belly up to the bar in Sportswalk, where they can test their knowledge in a round of sports trivia. Pier Park is for the puzzle and arcade gamer, and includes the stunt racer RC Rally. And the Adventure District – which will launch with an Uncharted 3 “total game integration event” – also includes Home Hold ‘Em for the gamblers among us.

Speaking of gambling: What do you think of Sony’s doubling-down on Home? Will you be checking out the redesign tomorrow? Either way, let us know what you think in the comments.

Topics

Home Sony

10 comments

  • mikeylawson - November 4, 2011 6:44 a.m.

    Still not interesting. I'd much rather use my PS3 for, you know, playing games. Completing UC3 on Brutal is my current objective.
  • Rezindez - November 2, 2011 10:05 p.m.

    My ideal Home would try to present relevant content about game-related topics by genre in a practical, yet exciting way. I think it should be sort of like a center for all of videogames, more so than it already looks like it's going to become. For example, for it would be freaking awesome if they had some sort of in-game anime-style convention with scheduled events. To buy JRPG related paraphernalia from some cult game you enjoy at an in-game booth and then equip it to your character, maybe to have contests for user-related content that would be shown at a certain time, and definitely to screen some exclusive JRPG trailers in an in-game screen. And a few sly anime references would also go a long way to adding authenticity. The point is that I'd like to see Home used in a way that fully takes advantage of the interactivity of videogames and let's us celebrate the medium and all of its genres based on taste while also providing plenty of practical purpose. They could debut games on it, couldn't they? I'm imagining an E3 experience completely simulated. You run into a crowded theater filled with hundreds of other players and watch as a humongous screen with a countdown on it slowly ticks away to zero. While you're waiting, you're interacting with other people in the audience, sharing your anticipation for what's to come, or coming up with some theories on what this next entry into a given series is going to be about. Then voice chat is turned off as the trailer begins to run for the first time. After which, it's continually repeated on the same screen and people are free to joke about it and communicate their opinons form the audience. I don't know about anyone else, but I think that sounds like a pretty exciting and memorable experience.
  • Turboash - November 2, 2011 8:46 p.m.

    What the hell is Playstation Home!? :-)
  • Scoob - November 2, 2011 8:19 p.m.

    I have yet to use this feature. And while I don't mean to trash Sony's efforts in this area, it would be really nice if there could be a redesign of the store. It's horrendous. I would hate to see how it was back in 2006.
  • taokaka - November 2, 2011 4:02 p.m.

    I've never actually been on home so I suppose I'll go on, wait scratch that there's uncharted and batman to be played so no home for me anytime soon.
  • GR HollanderCooper - November 2, 2011 2:38 p.m.

    It's like they're giving it a second life. (get it?)
  • IceSickle - November 2, 2011 1:59 p.m.

    Will PS Home be available on the Vita?
  • firelegendmush - November 2, 2011 1:28 p.m.

    I wonder if they finally implemented trophies into home like they said they would...
  • birdro - November 2, 2011 10:23 a.m.

    Some more stuff to do with home sounds like it will be fun for PS3 guys, I tried it once at a friends house and the constant downloading really irked me. going to a movie theater for a colourful prompt to download a trailer that's on the store seemed a little useless to me. Sort of related, when is the 360 Dashboard update drop, obviously not as much going on as what's here, but I don't exactly want to wake up to the thing.
  • kc2 - November 2, 2011 12:33 p.m.

    I don't personally like home, but the downloading only happens the first time you enter a area.. Your friend must have not messed with it that much.

Showing 1-10 of 10 comments

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