PlayStation Home is getting a major overhaul tomorrow, bringing genre-themed districts and freemium games. The service debuted in 2008 as a 3D, avatar-based social network based around private and public spaces. Users could create an avatar, outfit it with gear that could be purchased, won, or bundled with PS3 titles, and interact with others. Sony claims that 24 million people have used the service, but it's never been hugely popular. By placing the emphasis on games rather than social interaction, Sony's hoping to change that.
Each district will access a different genre, with games for your avatar to participate in: there will be the "gritty urban" Action District which comes with Bootleggers '29, a prohibition themed FPS; Sportswalk for your sports and gambling games including PlayStation Home Hold 'Em, and PlayStation Home Sports Trivia; Pier Park is for casual titles with toy car racing game RC Rally; and the Adventure District has a level from Uncharted 3. The Hub is the center of these, where users can buy items, head out to the other zones, and play the popular indie puzzler Cogs.
The redesign was announced in August, and marks a major shift from the previous versions of PlayStation Home which remained essentially unaltered since launch. The new edition has been in beta for a few months, so most dedicated Home users have been using the updated version for some time.