When I heard the news that Sony is redesigning PlayStation Home from the ground-up, my first thought (like probably many of yours) was… People actually play that? Sony must feel the same, because this overhaul is bringing some significant upgrades that all kinds of gamers will appreciate.
I’ve popped in on Home now and then over the years, and yes, there are always plenty of people there, hanging out, playing mini games, or collecting stuff to deck out their personal “Harbor Studio” space. But I never quite got what the big deal was, and I know loads of others who feel the same. For most, it’s a footnote, a sideshow curiosity in the annals of PlayStation history.
Mostly I’ve always been amazed that Sony has the gall to charge real-world money for virtual goods that serve no purpose whatsoever. The tchotchkes for sale inside Home are clothes, furniture, and accessories, which are fine, but they do nothing at all to improve your gaming experience. The same could be said about Xbox’s avatar store, but I’ve never spent money on anything there, either. Why would I? Bragging rights, so all of my avatar’s little avatar friends can ooh and aah over my supreme fashion sense? Give me a break.
To make Home more appealing to gamers like myself, Sony’s new “hub and districts” design organizes content by genre instead of by game. You’ll find places like the Action District, Sportswalk, Adventure District, and Pier Park (for puzzles and mini games). The Central Plaza is going away entirely to make room for the new “Hub,” which functions as a more streamlined core user experience, but you’ll keep your Harbor Studio and all of your personal trophies. They’re even updating the game engine.
But the big news is quests. Like achievements and trophies, quests are meant to give added purpose to your actions within Home by awarding you for the games and activities you participate in. The idea is that players who choose to can use quests to turn the entire Home experience itself into one big game. The video above goes into more detail about this concept and how it will make Home a more interesting place to “live.”
So if you’ve never indulged in Home, do these redesign plans make you more likely to jump in?
The reimagined PlayStation Home is expected sometime before Christmas.