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PlayStation Network Update Details Including PS3 Home

Home and new downloadable PS3 games headline changes to the PlayStation Network

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Home, the PS3 Online Community

Home, the PS3 Online Community

© Sony
Sony has announced new games and services for the PlayStation Network. New details on Home and new downloadable PS3 games finally fill out the the clever, but thus far, hollow service. PlayStation gamers have been waiting with baited breath for announcements about Home, the free 3D online community for the PS3.

Featured upcoming PlayStation Network downloadable games include:

  • echochrome - a puzzle game that uses the Sixaxis controller
  • PAIN - a humorous action game
  • WipeOut HD - a new addition to the popular futuristic air-racer game

Additionally, Sony unveiled a new sales/marketing strategy with two games, the much anticipated Warhawk, and SOCOM US Navy SEALs: Confrontation. Both games are going to be available via two different delivery methods, they can be downloaded via the PlayStation Network, or purchased from retail stores on Blu-ray disc. This is the first time that a dual-delivery method has been employed by a major videogame console.

Sony's demonstration of Home, however, took the PlayStation Network limelight. At the E3 Sony press conference, spokespeople presented both in person and as their own personalized avatars within the PlayStation Home 3D community service. While this combination of real-world and virtual-world dual presentation has occurred in Second Life, it was the first time it was demonstrated on a home videogame console. Phil Harrison, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, outlined the key components of PlayStation Home. The following new features will all be a part of the free Home service when it launches this fall:

  • Launch Games Within PlayStation Home: Users will have the ability to launch Blu-ray Disc (BD) or PlayStation Network games from inside PlayStation Home. Since PlayStation Home is designed to be a virtual meeting place for a worldwide community, users who want to play a game together can meet in one location to set options and start the multi-player online game.
  • New Home Square: The newly designed Home Square replaces the PlayStation Home lobby concept first introduced at the Game Developers Conference in March. The new open-air space provides internal developers with more flexibility to build upon the community experience.
  • New Personal Spaces: Four new apartments including a Beach House, Norwegian Cabin, Manhattan Penthouse and a traditional Japanese House, were introduced today to allow for additional user choice and personalization.
Phil Harrison had the following remarks to add to his presentation of Home: "After more than three years in development, we’re preparing for a landmark global roll out of PlayStation Home in the fall. As an integrated service of PLAYSTATION Network, PlayStation Home will enable people to build connected communities around all of the entertainment experiences that PS3 has to offer."

Home looks to be one of the highlights of a very competitive fall/holiday videogame season. Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, commented on the importance of the PlayStation Network to the PS3's strategy: "Our goal is to deliver the most compelling entertainment experience to our PlayStation fans through PLAYSTATION Network. The interactive content sharing features of PlayStation Home, combined with the library of innovative downloadable games and entertainment, truly push the boundaries of our customer’s imaginations and deliver on the promise of an integrated content and community service."

With most of the services of the PlayStation network, including Home, being offered for free, it seems as though Sony is quite serious about taking on Microsoft's very successful Xbox Live service.

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