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Sony Overhauling Home, More Interested in Pushing Games

Less and less focus on a virtual world, more and more focus on games.

...yeah.

I know that most of you don't pay attention to PlayStation Home. Hell, I barely do, even though the service fascinates me. It doesn't capture my interest any more than Second Life, but Home is a thing I can quickly boot into before playing a game and see what's changed since the last time I got tempted. That itch comes along about once a year.

Sony announced today it's rolling out a massive restructuring sometime this fall making games front and center in Home.

Home director Jack Buser signaled the company was heading in this direction when I interviewed him for a series of pieces about Home.

"If you look at the average Home user, they are the most hardcore gamer on the PS3," he said back in June. "They buy more games than the average PS3 user, they play more games than the average PS3 user. They also watch more movies than the average PS3 user, who is already a highly self-selective consumer. We're talking about rabid consumers of media and hardcore gamers. That's who these people are."

The people I talked to who drove the community aspects of Home, such as HomeStation Magazine, did not strike me as people particularly interested in more games in Home, but that's where it's headed.

In the fall, Home will ditch its current (and outdated) central plaza for a segmented hub that essentially splits into genres--Action District, Sportswalk, Adventure District, Pier Park. These new environments will also come packed with activities and games to interact with. Everything about the redesign seems tailored to push Home users towards more and more games.

Home was more of a "world" before, but Sony's aiming to make it a "platform," not unlike Facebook or any other networked hub where people hop online to do any number of things, like play games.

Additionally, Sony will be releasing an update to the underlying Home client to minimize "the time it takes for players to get into games." Again, it's all about the games.

I'm curious about the reaction from the more hardcore users, who may not take kindly to this approach.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
42 Comments
Posted by patrickklepek
...yeah.

I know that most of you don't pay attention to PlayStation Home. Hell, I barely do, even though the service fascinates me. It doesn't capture my interest any more than Second Life, but Home is a thing I can quickly boot into before playing a game and see what's changed since the last time I got tempted. That itch comes along about once a year.

Sony announced today it's rolling out a massive restructuring sometime this fall making games front and center in Home.

Home director Jack Buser signaled the company was heading in this direction when I interviewed him for a series of pieces about Home.

"If you look at the average Home user, they are the most hardcore gamer on the PS3," he said back in June. "They buy more games than the average PS3 user, they play more games than the average PS3 user. They also watch more movies than the average PS3 user, who is already a highly self-selective consumer. We're talking about rabid consumers of media and hardcore gamers. That's who these people are."

The people I talked to who drove the community aspects of Home, such as HomeStation Magazine, did not strike me as people particularly interested in more games in Home, but that's where it's headed.

In the fall, Home will ditch its current (and outdated) central plaza for a segmented hub that essentially splits into genres--Action District, Sportswalk, Adventure District, Pier Park. These new environments will also come packed with activities and games to interact with. Everything about the redesign seems tailored to push Home users towards more and more games.

Home was more of a "world" before, but Sony's aiming to make it a "platform," not unlike Facebook or any other networked hub where people hop online to do any number of things, like play games.

Additionally, Sony will be releasing an update to the underlying Home client to minimize "the time it takes for players to get into games." Again, it's all about the games.

I'm curious about the reaction from the more hardcore users, who may not take kindly to this approach.

Staff Online
Edited by iAmJohn

Because this approach sure worked last time, right guys?

Edited by SockLobster

The people that played Home more than once are dumb.
 
I pity them.

Posted by muralbat

I've used a fair amount of Home since I've had my Playstaion 3 and never really got around to understanding its use at all, however I enjoyed in Home Games and using it to connect with other people to play games Online with, I think its a good way to push home, but its too late, I don't think home will get anywhere near the usage Sony were hoping for.

Posted by Jayzilla

every word that dude used in the interview was all marketing jargon and test group research. they are basically dissecting you in Home. No thanks.

Posted by subyman

Yawn, I just scroll to the Game tab and select my game to play games...

Posted by metalsnakezero

So Sony's game room?

Posted by benjaebe

I've been playing the Dead Island promo game they have in it to unlock that exclusive weapon and Home is a weird, weird place.

Posted by Hector

I play bowling from time to time in home. Besides it serves no real purpose.

Posted by Katkillad

Seems like they are kicking a dead horse... In my perspective, Home represents something that the average ps3 age demographic doesn't care about, it's more suitable for the Wii.

Posted by PillClinton

oh, sure? ok.

Posted by ssj4raditz

Oh boy, more stuff for me to ignore! Thanks Sony.

Posted by Darkstorn

I tried to play chess on Home once and failed. Never touched it again.

Posted by freakin9

Aside from the fact I think Home is a waste of space... they really need to make the load times nil. It's ridiculous currently, you load load load only to see something that bores you.

Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff

I actually hopped into Home a couple of days ago and played some pool. There was also a scavenger hunt for Dead Island that would unlock content.

Posted by shodan2020

uh oh. cue internet petitions.

Posted by ocdog45

Home is for Hardcore players? If thats true you can keep that shit! I'm a PS3 fan but HOME sucks in everyway.
Posted by Xeiphyer

Know who I don't want to talk to or play games with? Strangers. 
 
That's why Home has never worked, I don't need a virtual place to load into to play games with my friends, I just text or call them and send them an invite. I never felt like Home was filling any void in my gaming experience, probably because there isn't one. Its like the iPad of gaming.

Posted by Sooty

Sony why don't you start working on adding a party system and cross game chat to the PS3 instead of wasting your time on something nobody really cares about.

Posted by intelekshual

Playstation Home doesnt need quests, it needs to not be stupid.

Posted by SomeJerk

Japanese PSN Home beats the shit out of the US PSN Home, which beats the shit out of the European PSN Home. I don't have any hopes for this.

Posted by Silver-Streak

I'll be honest, I've messed with home on a semi-regular basis (a few hours every couple months) It is phenomenally better than it was at launch. There are actually some decent games, like a lightning shooting gallery in the Infamous area, a semi-tower defense in the Ratchet and Clank area, and their bizarre Salt Shooter game.

If they can get it more like that and less "waiting in line on a virtual queue for no reason", then sure, I'm all for it.

Posted by solidejake

Hey, that's my picture being used in the article. I am honored, and I think that that should be a Quest!

Posted by ConstantRa1n

Why not more focus on the woohoo aspect?

Posted by buzz_clik

That's all fine, but have they tweaked things so it's easier to get your Quincying on?

Moderator
Edited by onarum

"If you look at the average Home user, they are the most hardcore gamer on the PS3"

 
HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHa.......hahahah...ahhh.*wipes tears*
Posted by PandaShake

I actually roamed around home a month ago where the last time I was there was launch. There's a ton of places now and the load times going to places were almost instant for me. Just sight seeing was kind of fun like that bomberman place where you can activate disco mode.

Posted by markusespar

It's hard to discern Sony's intent here. Are they trying to generate more revenue from Home's existing user base? Create an incentive to draw new users in? Did some marketing VP somewhere just happen to get stuck with the assignment from hell and a budget to blow?

Edited by Cubical

Home is fucking lame compared to second  life because you cant make your own content and that is the entire fucking point of crap like this. 
 
Hell you can even import models from 3d studio max  maya or blender now on second life and those are the same fucking tools sony uses to make real  ps3 game models.  
   Home has a bunch of lame boring content made by sony  and put there to try to make you buy it it's boring as hell and none of the games in home  are that  fun the best thing to do in it is go to the wipeout area and listen to the fucking robot DJ or go to the hudson soft area and watch space dolphins race and do sony e3 events that is it.

Posted by Devoid

What genre is "Pier Park" supposed to be?

But yeah, Ygg's right. Fuck patents and all that BS, cross-game/party chat is damn useful.

Posted by dprabon

@subyman said:

Yawn, I just scroll to the Game tab and select my game to play games...

Heh, me too lol... hasn't failed me yet.

Posted by temmink

I remember them showing the ability to have like a table with a view of a map for Killzone I think it was at the time so that you could get your clan mates around to your 'home' and plan tactics and stuff on the map itself. That seemed like a cool idea but I never saw any evidence of it again?

Posted by FCKSNAP

@temmink said:

I remember them showing the ability to have like a table with a view of a map for Killzone I think it was at the time so that you could get your clan mates around to your 'home' and plan tactics and stuff on the map itself. That seemed like a cool idea but I never saw any evidence of it again?

It was Warhawk. It's tied to a Warhawk space. You could move things on the little table around and launch the game, but they aren't directly tied to each other because you can launch any game from any space.

Posted by jasonefmonk

I don't really see a use for Home, but then again if they improve it I might. I could see it becoming a larger part of the PSN with Sony's next console. While Patrick was writing about Home I hopped in and poked around. It's biggest problem is slow loading; I'd be more likely to use it if I could just pop in and out. The game of chess I played was fun.

Posted by CaptainComedy

Home is neat and this update sounds neat. Thanks Patrick!

Posted by PenguinDust

So what happens to all the developer created worlds that already exist in Home like EA's Sports Zone or the Uncharted cafe?

Edited by Boiglenoight

Home is terrible. When the idea was conceived I thought it'd be a cool way to party up with friends before jumping into games. In its current form, it's inefficient nonsense. I really don't know what I was thinking; I'd be happier if Sony focused on streamlining the current XMB interface, making it easier to join friends who are currently playing multiplayer, and party / cross game chat. I read about the memory limitation preventing CGC on the PS3, so it's more of a wish than a want.

And Home is populated with hardcore gamers? More like Sony wishes Home wasn't filled up with weirdoes and probable pedophiles.

Posted by Rekt_Hed

I've only ever jumped into home 3 times in 2 years and the third time was only to get my free stuff after the hacking of PSN. If they can find a way to make home relavant then it might be good but it feels like thats what sony has been trying to do since Home first launched.

I'm curious to see how home changes

Posted by Outrager

" but Home is a thing I can quickly boot into before playing a game and see what's changed since the last time I got tempted." 
From what I've played of it, it's anything but quick to boot into. There's like a loading screen at every screen change/menu selection.

Posted by Addfwyn

I haven't used Home much, and I see most people here don't, but I know a LOT of people who actually use Home. To an extent, the article is right, the people I know who use Home are way more hardcore into the PS3 as a platform (not necessarily a game system) than I am. I use my PS3 to you know...play games. They use it for games, Home, music streaming, media center, netflix, movies, etc. They use basically everything the PS3 can do. Which I imagine is what they mean they are saying hardcore

I hardly ever use it, I think I use it during E3 for the virtual Sony booth stuff, but that's about it ever. That said, there is a large population that is actually very active in Home, so if they can make it better for those people, have at it. I'll at least give it another shot when they revamp it.

Posted by Vexxan

Hardcore gamers were the ones using Home?

What?

Edited by MeatSim

He lost me when he started using the term Hardcore gamers.