In the US, Playstation Home is rather mundane. Other than additions like voice chat and in-network game launching, it has been the same since its 2008 launch. That’s about to change according to statements made at this year’s GDC by Masami Kando, head of the Home project at Sony.
Playstation Home version 1.5 is looking to get away from its image as a time-killing app and get more serious about gaming. “Version 1.50 makes possible the sort of real gameplay that people would be willing to pay for, I think,” Kando said. “I’d like to see publishers think of PS Home not just as a promotional platform, but one they can conduct their business more directly on as well — we’re thinking about ways we can support this. They could distribute demo versions of games for free, for example, then charge for the full version or for extra items. If you released it on PS Home worldwide, that allows you more opportunity for business. I want to build a new business model that isn’t just about selling clothing and furniture.”
The first game to take advantage of the new version of Home will be the free-to-play racing game Sodium Two, due out this summer.