Sony is planning some major Home renovations for this fall. Today, the company announced plans to overhaul the PlayStation 3's virtual world, introducing a redesign that brings with it new ways in which players can connect with one another, launch free-to-play games, and buy virtual items.
The Home redesign's core feature will be the introduction of a new hub, which serves as a starting point for various genre-based districts. The hub is also where gamers will be able to engage in Home's questing system, which Sony hopes will add a game-like experience to the service itself. Players will also find community-oriented activities in this area.
From the hub, players can instantly travel to one of four genre-based districts. First-person shooter fans will want to head to the Action District, where they can find action- and horror-genre playable titles. The Sportswalk offers sports-related free-to-play games, while also providing real-world scores and highlights.
In the Adventure District, gamers will be transported to an island jungle environment, where they will find adventure-themed games. Lastly, Pier Park operates as a waterfront boardwalk, bringing with it a variety of carnival, puzzle, outdoor, and arcade games.
The update will also bring with it a retooled Home client. Of particular note, Sony hopes to better streamline login processes and other usability factors with these changes.
Lastly, Sony provided a stats update for Home, which was launched for the PS3 in December 2008. More than 23 million users have tried out Home, spending on average 70 minutes in the virtual world per session. There are more than 230 playable games, as well as 9,000 virtual items, 600 community events, and 35 content partners.