Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today announced that the redesigned PlayStation Home will be available beginning tomorrow, November 3, 2011, exclusively on PlayStation Network for PS3 users throughout the US and Canada. The PlayStation Home redesign includes a new core experience that features genre-based districts as well as a wide variety of exclusive games that cater to each player’s interests, style and game preference. On paper all this stuff seems really interesting, but it will ultimately be all about the execution. To be honest, I haven’t spent any real amount of time in PlayStation Home in years but if Sony can get this right they might be on to something. One of my biggest beefs with Home is that you leave a game your playing to enter, this is why I am really hoping for multithreaded processing in the next generation of consoles so that something like Home can run in the background and I can swap back and forth between it and the game I am actually playing.
The PlayStation Home redesign will launch with a number of free-to-play game titles, based upon a freemium business model, including:
Bootleggers ’29: Set in the seedy underbelly of the Roaring Twenties, this PlayStation Home exclusive first-person shooter found in the Action District pits cops vs. criminals in a Prohibition-era game of Capture the Cask. Boasting real-time multiplayer action, a variety of vintage weapons and unlockable rewards, and the unique ability to play as your PlayStation Home avatar, Bootleggers ’29 is a 100% free-to-play game that introduces a classic narrative to the modern shooter genre.
PlayStation Home Hold ‘Em: A series of backroom poker tables hosted in the brand new Sportswalk district, PlayStation Home Hold ‘Em squares players off in a no-holds-barred, winner-take-all battle of the bluffs. Only the best of the best will progress to the high stakes tables and collect all the prizes in this free version of the wildly-popular Texas Hold ‘Em card game.
PlayStation Home Sports Trivia: Test your sports expertise against the PlayStation Home community and unlock a series of themed rewards in this massive sports trivia game, found in the Sportswalk. Packed with over 10,000 trivia questions, this game will challenge the memories of even the most die-hard sports fans.
RC Rally: Build and customize your own remote controlled car and race against friends over multiple courses, performing stunts and tricks and unlocking numerous upgrades along the way. This fast-paced PlayStation Home original game can be found in the new Pier Park.
Cogs: A 3D version of Lazy 8 Studios award-winning Steampunk puzzle game, Cogs can be found front-and-center in PlayStation Home’s new Hub. Build a variety of machines from sliding tiles and unlock exclusive PlayStation Home rewards in this highly-addictive puzzler.
Key features that were unveiled at the announcement of the redesign included an all-new futuristic Hub that brings games directly to players with a featured game front-and-center upon login and integrates an Activity Board that features a robust questing system, community events and user-generated content. The Hub will also offer additional navigation, shopping, socializing and entertainment options. From the Hub, players can teleport to different genre-based districts and spaces including:
Action District: A gathering place for hardcore gamers, 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 and sports-themed games.
Adventure District: At the launch of the PlayStation Home redesign, the Adventure District will present the UNCHARTED™ 3: Fortune Hunter total game integration event, providing a third-person adventure experience including a partial recreation of the Yemen level from UNCHARTED 3: Drake’s Deception multiplayer mode and a cover-based shooting system complete with weapons and gameplay inspired by the hit series. Players can unlock content that can be used in the UNCHARTED 3: Drake’s Deception Blu-Ray Disc game as well as additional PlayStation Home rewards.
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 more games.
PlayStation Home Theater: The PlayStation Home Theater features an ultra-modern architectural design and hosts a wide range of videos programmed specifically for PlayStation gamers, including episodes of Pulse and Qore, trailers and interviews from the PlayStation Blog, and exclusive user-generated videos in the popular Community Theater.
PlayStation Home Mall: The PlayStation Home Mall is loaded with thousands of pieces of content from some of the most popular games and entertainment in the world. Shop for PlayStation Home games, extravagant personal spaces, costumes, clothing items and other avatar enhancements, and tons more in the redesigned Mall.