Foster City, Calif. -
said it will launch the redesigned
Thursday in the U.S. and Canada through the PlayStationÂ®Network for the PlayStation3 video game system.
Sony said the redesign will include a new core experience with genre-based districts as well as a wide variety of exclusive games that cater to each player's interests and preferences.
It said the offering will include a number of free-to-play game titles, based upon a "freemium business model," that will include: Bootleggers '29, a first-person shooter found in the Action District that is based on the underbelly of the Roaring Tweneties; PlayStation Home Hold 'Em, a series of backroom poker tables found in the new Sportswalk District where online players can square off in a battle of bluffs; PlayStation Home Sports Trivia, also found in the Sports District that tests a players sports knowledge against the PlayStation Home community; RC Rally, a customized remote-controlled racing game found in the Pier Park section; and Cogs, a 3D version of Lazy 8 Studios Steampunk puzzle game. Users can also unlock exclusive PlayStation Home rewards in this puzzler.
"Home's community is made up of some of the most passionate gamers on PS3, and we've listened to their feedback since Home launched in 2008, finally transforming Home itself into a game," said Jack Buser, SCEA PlayStation Home director. "This redesign marks a new beginning for PlayStation Home, and players can expect much more to come."
Other key features of the redesign include a futuristic Hub that brings games directly to players with a featured game front-and-center upon login. It integrates an Activity Board with a questing system, community events and user-generated content. The Hub will also offer additional navigation, shopping, socializing and entertainment options; PlayStation Home Theater offering 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.
A new PlayStation Home Mall will present thousands of pieces of content from popular games and entertainment platforms. Users can shop for PlayStation Home games, extravagant personal spaces, costumes, clothing items and other avatar enhancements, among other things.
Sony said PlayStation Home has attracted more than 24 million users worldwide to date. Visitors spend an average of 70 minutes per session, and more than 230 games, 10,000 virtual items, 70 spaces, 800 community events and 35 partners are available.