Free play meets console action in PlayStation Home

Mar 28, 2012 by Glenn Chapman
Sony on Wednesday brought together blockbuster console title action and popular free-to-play style gaming in its Home online community for PlayStation 3 users.

Sony on Wednesday brought together blockbuster console title action and popular free-to-play style gaming in its Home online community for PlayStation 3 users.

Sony Computer Entertainment America rolled out "Cutthroats: Battle for Black Powder Cove," which lets as many as 24 people at a time serve as gunners or captains of rival pirate ships out to sink one another in timed sessions.

In coming months, Home will add post-apocalyptic shooter game "No Man's Land" and role-playing adventure title "Mercia" to its line-up.

"We truly think they are going to revolutionize freemium games on consoles," PS Home senior business manager Chris Mahoney said while giving AFP an advance look at the titles in San Francisco.

Console play has been typically defined by blockbuster titles that take years to develop and hit the market priced about $60 each.

The videogame industry has been shaken up in recent years by the exploding popularity of online games that are free to play, with creators making money through ads or sales of virtual items such as clothing, armor or weapons.

"When we look at gaming, we see hard-core experiences on one side of the spectrum and a more casual side with free-to-play type games," Mahoney said.

"We think that there is an area in between where you can blend together the best of both worlds."

In November, Sony opened the doors of a remodeled PS Home that put a focus on building rich console quality play to an online social gaming platform.

The ranks of Home users has climbed to 27 million people worldwide since the redesign, which introduced a "hub" that integrates games, quests, community events, user-generated content, shopping and more.

Home users can "transport" their animated characters to game districts with themes such as action, sports and adventure.

Home is at the heart of Sony's PlayStation Network that lets owners of PS3 consoles access games, films, and other entertainment.

Home has more than 230 titles available and has been incorporating successful social game models.

"I love to make games that can appeal to hardcore gamers but can also appeal to people who don't consider themselves gamers; and that is pretty much half of social games," Home director Jack Buser told AFP in a recent interview.

"I want everyone to play games all the time; it is just a better world."

San Francisco-based startup Zynga rose to stardom, and in December went public with a billion-dollar initial stock offering, on the popularity of casual games such as CityVille and FarmVille played online by friends at Facebook.

Google+ social network was enhanced with a virtual play space in a nod to how much people love to play games with one another on the Internet. Zynga recently launched its own website as an online social games platform.

"Google Play and Zynga.com are really cool things giving more access for people to play games," Buser said.

"What Facebook really did was make the world aware that there are hundreds of millions of gamers out there who weren't buying 60-dollar console games but love to play if given the chance."

Explore further: Android gains in US, basic phones almost extinct

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sony remodels PlayStation Home

Aug 23, 2011

Sony is remodeling PlayStation Home to put games at center stage in a virtual world that merges console-quality play with styles of social gaming that are hits at venues such as Facebook.

Remodeled PlayStation Home opening doors

Nov 02, 2011

Sony on Thursday will open the doors of a remodeled PlayStation Home that puts the focus on games in a virtual world that merges console-quality play with hot trends in online social gaming.

Recommended for you

Growing app industry has developers racing to keep up

2 hours ago

Smartphone application developers say they are challenged by the glut of apps as well as the need to update their software to keep up with evolving phone technology, making creative pricing strategies essential to finding ...

Android gains in US, basic phones almost extinct

Apr 18, 2014

The Google Android platform grabbed the majority of mobile phones in the US market in early 2014, as consumers all but abandoned non-smartphone handsets, a survey showed Friday.

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

Apr 17, 2014

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Microsoft CEO is driving data-culture mindset

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —Microsoft's future strategy: is all about leveraging data, from different sources, coming together using one cohesive Microsoft architecture. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday, both in ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.