Having been presented for its first year of public existence as a social platform, PlayStation Home is about to be pushed in a new way: As a social gaming platform.
"We have developed a forum for developers to come in and develop 3D social games," Home director Jack Buser told Kotaku during a Sony Playstation 3 showcase in New York. The goal is to spawn the development in Home of what Buser calls "mini-MMOs."
PlayStation Home has primarily been shaped as a social space up until now, enabling online-connected PS3 users to interact with each other in virtual movie theatres, courtyards, malls, houses and game-themed spaces. Users in Home chat together, dance together and flirt together — any quick visit to Home will verify that that last activity is quite popular.
Some of the spaces in Home have allowed PS3 users to play. There is a hedge maze in one space, a poker table in another. Ratchet & Clank's Home space includes a scavenger hunt and shooting game (pictured above); Uncharted 2's has a multiplayer modification of Risk. Those latter spaces, Buser said, are hints of where this could be going.
You would go to Home not just to hang out, but to play 3D "casual" games.
Buser had no mini-MMOs quite ready to announce yet, but was confident that the gaming expansion of Home is underway. The service turns one year old tomorrow, but Buser was cagey about how, if at all, that anniversary would be celebrated. Time, if not to launch mini-MMOs, to drop the "beta" tag from the project's status? Not something he could talk about now, he said.