August 23, 2011

PlayStation Wants to Take You Home to Social Gaming


You might be familiar with taking your Miis on parade, or connecting with your buddies on Xbox Live. But if you are not yet familiar with PlayStation Home, Sony wants you to be. And, with a major overhaul in the works, they want Home to be the go to destination for social gaming.

PlayStation Home has existed for a while, but as of yet, it has not caught on as the social gaming hub that Sony desperately wishes it to be. But now, plans are in place to transform the online service. As Jake Buser, PlayStation Home director, told VentureBeat, “This is a giant leap in the evolution of the platform. 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.”

In the future, users will start their Home experience in an area known as The Hub. The Hub itself will have built-in games and challenges, like defending it from outside invaders. From The Hub, gamers can access existing features like shopping and entertainment, but the main focus will now be on the games themselves.

The Hub will grant users access to other parts of the Home universe, which is broken into sections, each of which represents a different genre of game, from the SportsWalk to the Adventure District, from the Action District to Pier Park, which will focus on arcade-like games.

This announcement comes in the wake of a heated social gaming arms race between Google + and Facebook, as the two social networking sites attempt to take advantage of the huge surge in revenue generated by these games. As reported by TMC, the future of social gaming may very well come down to innovation and creativity. Since PlayStation Home was lackluster to begin with, these new changes seem welcome. Perhaps it will now be a good place to hang out as I gather my forces to take on Zombie Nazis in Call of Duty…

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Rich Steeves is a TechZone360 copy editor. He taught writing for nine years. He has also worked as an editorial assistant at Penny Publications. He has written short stories, newspaper columns, blogs and recently published his first novel. He attended The George Washington University where he received his bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell



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