gdc 2011

PlayStation Home Pushes Social Gaming Initiative With Client Update 1.5

by Annette Gonzalez on Mar 01, 2011 at 08:00 AM

At last year's Game Developers Conference, PlayStation Network announced an initiative to push PlayStation Home as a social gaming platform. At a Sony presentation that took place at GDC this morning, the team announced a core client update for developers, version 1.5, that will be a "huge milestone in that strategy." The update will allow PS Home game developers to incorporate real-time multiplayer gameplay, and will improve core physics engines and graphics.

The team working on PlayStation Home noted that games like Sodium in Sony's social space has had a positive impact on player retention and overall revenue. The team reported 19 million users worldwide with an average session duration of 70 minutes, largely as a result of game activity on the Home platform. According to the team, there are 230 games on PlayStation Home (ranging from pool to full gaming experiences) from more than 30 developers worldwide. With the core client update, the team hopes this will give developers the tools to create greater social gaming experiences on the Home platform.

Note that the developer update will not affect or add any notable improvements to the Home user experience in the way update 1.35 did, however the team stated that they are constantly looking for ways to address the common issue of speed performance and other user grievances.

The first Home developer to take advantage of the new update is Lockwood Publishing who will release Sodium Two. The sequel to the original Home racing game will release in spring to coincide with the launch of the update.