Continuously running since December 2008 despite never reaching its full potential, the PlayStation Home service is set to finally close its doors. Sony Computer Entertainment America and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe have announced simultaneous statements confirming that the service will be discontinued from March 31st 2015. This follows on from a similar announcement made in Japan and Asia.
Citing a “shifting landscape” as justification, content will cease being published from November 12th 2014, with content to remain downloadable until December 3rd 2014. As a token of gratitude to the community however, Sony will be releasing a series of free content prior to the closure of PlayStation Home in March.
First announced as a much more ambitious project than it ultimately ended up being, with a trophy room and all not only confirmed but previewed during an E3 demonstration, several delays in the closed beta and feature cuts left the service ignored or infrequently used by the more hardcore gaming community. PlayStation Home has however had continuous content upgrades over the years – ranging from a collaboration with J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore to a consistent stream of new apartments, free/paid content, game/themed public rooms and mini-games.
It’s a bit of a shame that Sony Computer Entertainment has seemingly not found justification to commit the resources and time to work on a greatly enhanced PlayStation Home 2.0 version for PS4 consoles (As whenever I logged in there was always people using it – meaning it must have been appealing to at least some gaming demographics), but it is quite possible that many gamers will just consider this the removal of a button on their PS3’s XrossMediaBar and nothing else.