PlayStation Home is still, after all these years and numerous enhancements later, a service I simply can’t be bothered to boot up on my PS3. Maybe that will change later this fall, though, once Sony rolls out the virtual world’s latest and potentially greatest redesign yet.
Unveiled publicly this week, the new PS Home is set to look quite different from the environment you may know right now, as it transitions “from a virtual environment to a world of games, with a focus on rapidly connecting players with game content that pertains to their style and mood,” says Sony. It’s a move intended to actually make Home itself something to do, rather than merely be a portal to other things.
A main get-together space known as the Hub is a sleek, contemporary setting, outfitted with various games and experiences to get involved with right off the bat. Current areas like the theater and central Home Plaza will be no more. The Hub is flanked on both sides by various branched-off districts, each with a unique visual flair like the Action District, Sportswalk, Pier Park, and Adventure District. All of these are designed and geared towards a certain subset or genre of games.
The Action District is an “urban feel reminiscent of a first-person shooter level” for “action and horror games.” Heading over to the Adventure District you’ll be greeted by inspiration from titles like Tomb Raider and Uncharted with a “lush island jungle with an air of mystery, hidden treasure and discovery.”
Sportswalk has an “outside-the-stadium feel” and is promising “major league sports scores, headlines and highlights, ample space for sports-themed games and provides direct travel points to sports-related games.” Lastly there’s Pier Park, based upon a traditional boardwalk area and aimed at everyone.
Within Home Sony’s also adding an activity board featuring new social challenges, persistent quests and missions for the community to tackle, and mainstays such as shopping outlets and social areas will still be available.
Aside from the massive overhaul, the “core client” of Home will be seeing an update too, something that will “deliver a more streamlined experience upon login with customized tracks for new, returning and regular PlayStation Home users, minimizing the time it takes for players to get into games.“
There’s currently no firm date for the new Home launch just yet, but it’s due by the end of the year.