EA Decides to Dominate Home

While we can expect no major updates from Home today, it’s interesting to note how massive the update (and down-date) was last week. We mentioned three updates in last week’s PSN updates post, but the full update for Home seemed to stretch much further. Take a look at the list of known changes that took place on 02/07/09:

New Spaces:

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  • SOCOM Tactical Operations Centre
  • Abandoned Docks of Empire City (inFamous)
  • EA SPORTS Complex Red Poker Room
  • EA SPORTS Complex Green Poker Room
  • EA SPORTS Racing Complex
  • EA SPORTS Golf Complex

Shopping Centre Additions:

  • Estates > “Visari Throne Room” [£3.99 / €4.67]
  • Downstairs Furniture Store > “Visari Throne Room themed furniture”

Space Updates:

  • Home Square > Xi graffiti removed
  • Home Square > Home Maintenance manhole removed

Removed Spaces:

  • The Hub
  • Home Maintenance
  • Party at Jess’ Apartment
  • Alpha Zone 2 – Light and Dark
  • Alpha Zone 3 – Entrance and Team Maze
  • Alpha Zone 3 – Ghost Maze
  • Alpha Zone 3 – Riddle Maze
  • Alpha Zone 3 – The Expert Maze
  • The White Hall

Miscellaneous:

It would seem that EA Sports are slowly taking over Home. Now with four spaces, they currently hold the largest number of spaces from any third-party developer within Home. That matches SCEE’s attempt, showing the potential that EA seem to be tapping into with PlayStation Home. As thousands flock to play the mini-games exclusive to their spaces, EA get their own advertising and involved players. So far, we’ve only seen EA Sports spaces, but how long will it be before EA expand into their other franchises? How long will it take before other third-party developers see the potential for Home spaces in relation to their products? EA’s spaces are proving to be popular, and have undergone many changes and updates since they first arrived in Home to keep people coming back. It seems that a third-party company may have finally latched on to Home’s potential, and could be setting the benchmark for any future competition.

The new spaces are mostly renamed spaces after the previous ‘EA SPORTS Complex’ was all under one chip, despite the fact it contained two. Now expect to be confused. From the world map, the ‘EA SPORTS Racing Complex – Poker I’ is actually the ‘EA SPORTS Complex Green Poker Room’, the old upstairs to the original EA Space.  ‘EA SPORTS Golf Complex – Poker II’ is actually the ‘EA SPORTS Complex Red Poker Room’, the old upstairs to the original EA space, with thought higher stakes on the Poker. The fact that the chip is named differently to the space name makes it extremely confusing what space to go to, and probably something EA will fix in a later update.

The users on the Official EU PlayStation Forum suddenly realised that the World Map had a zoom function last week. This should be saying something for the number of spaces now viewable from the menu. Pushing the right analogue stick forwards and backwards zooms in and out of the chips on screen, and makes viewing the now (in some cases) faster-loading thumbnails easier to view amongst the others. With this latest update, there are now 10 chips on the main World Map, each including their own collection of spaces, making a total of 17 spaces accessible from the map. For once, the EU Home World Map is beginning to look like the US Home World Map, and is becoming delightfully cluttered. If Sony need to throw in a zoom feature, this can only mean that we’ll be receiving even more spaces in the future, and more chips to fill up our map.

An ‘Xi’ chip has been added to the World Map. As the game has now finished, you’ll notice a large amount of spaces have now been removed from the server in the above list. The chip contains the best, most interactive spaces, such as ‘Alpha Zone 1’. It’s also got its own new little puzzle in it. nDreams may have officially left the building, but their ability to bring people into Home hasn’t failed. Let’s just hope EA can be as organised as nDreams were with their spaces if they’re going to move towards anything like the number of spaces that Xi used.

Source: Official EU PlayStation Forum

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