PlayStation Home launched in 2008 and nobody was sure what to make of it. The Second Life-meets-Grand Theft Auto aesthetic resulted in some bizarre happenings immediately after the community-oriented service launched, though Home has since settled into a comfortable niche with a user base of more than 17 million. A version 1.5 update for Home was announced earlier this year at the 2011 Game Developer’s Conference, bringing in a host of added features and support meant to enhance the gaming content on offer.
The update was set for a spring launch, and a new post on PlayStation Blog reveals that it arrives today. As the blog post puts it, “PlayStation Home v1.5 was developed with one singular goal in mind: high-quality games.” On the developer side, the newly updated Home offers “tools and features that will enable developers to expand the types of games possible on the platform – from first-person shooters with real-time, peer-to-peer multiplayer to racing games and more.”
The blog doesn’t go into much more detail than that, though the new behind-the-scenes features were talked about at GDC. It’s pretty much what you’d expect when you get right down to it: real-time multiplayer, improved physics, beefed up visuals, that sort of thing. A new racing game, Sodium 2: Project Velocity, was supposed to launch alongside 1.5 to show off those new features, though there’s no mention of it in the PS Blog post. A Sodium Blaster’s Paradise personal space is there though, with a built-in minigame that involves blasting things for points.
The rest of the features are more mundane; an increased number of avatar save slots (up to 24), better furniture management (…), improved object placement, enhanced Chat Log options and some visual tweaks. If you want more details, such as what “better furniture management” amounts to, check out the patch notes on the PlayStation Home forums.