Remember PlayStation Home, Sony’s free, online social hub in which PS3 users could meet up, hang out, and gesture wildly at each other? Well, while the game’s servers were shut down in 2015, rumor has it Sony might be looking to bring the virtual world back to life.
According to a new trademark application that was submitted on July 21, 2021, Sony has secured the legal rights to the dormant game’s name until October 2028. According to a Redditor who’s keeping tabs, it’s the third time Sony has quietly updated its official PlayStation Home paperwork in as many months, leading to speculation that a reboot might be in the works (thanks, Comic Book).
Of course, all we can do right now is take this with a healthy bucket of salt, but given the rise in demand for safe, online virtual places – particularly in light of the pandemic – it’s certainly a possibility, especially if you factor in the popularity of MMO events like Fortnite’s in-game concerts. Some are even suggesting it might feature as part of Sony’s PSVR plans, too.
If you missed Home the first time around, it was a virtual community that any PS3 owner with an internet connection could join for free. You were represented as an avatar that you could customize, from facial features to clothing, and you had your own special apartment that you could invite other players to come back and visit. When Home first came out way back in 2008, it was a mostly empty, sterile environment, but people did really embrace the game’s customization options right up until the servers were taken offline.
Though PlayStation Home wasn’t exactly a darling among core gamers, according to Home’s director Jack Buser back in 2011, more than 22 million users had logged in to the social gaming platform, and many of them ranked among the most powerful of power users, if only judging from the disproportionately high number or Platinum Trophies they had.