Has the word about Sony's new Second Life
-like "Home" front-end attracted your attention? The new service is all the buzz around game channels everywhere, but the initial details made the service about as clear as mud. Now, Sony has come out with a little more info
in a recent Q&A about Home.
First things first, the new Home service will only be available on PS3 machines for a while. This exclusivity is far from permanent, however - plans are already in the works for a PSP version and even a mobile-phone port. Of course, these will have limited functionality compared to the PS3, but you will still have the power to take your avatar with you on the go.
Sony also discussed a little more of what you can do
with that avatar, but not much. One question asked was, "Can you use Home to launch a Blu-ray movie? What about watching it?" The answer was "Launch, yes; watch, no." As Ars Technica points out, this makes sense, really - do you really want to watch your avatar watch a movie? Yeah, we didn't think so, either.
There are some technical hurtles to jump before the service is ready for the big-time. For instance, Sony wants to put in a market place for real-world goods, much like the XBox Live was promised to get. Of course, this leads into legal issues galore, so it's probably best they work on software issues first. For instance, the concept of persistance hasn't quite been hammered out yet - when you disappear, so does all your stuff until you log back on. Nobody will even know you're there - a rather unreal part of a virtual reality world.
Of course, the thing you are most interested in - release dates. The service will go through two betas before its undetermined release. A closed beta (for about 15,000 users) will start in April and run through August. Then an open beta (50,000 users) will run from August through October. Over this time, we'll hopefully see many of the kinks worked out.
Do you have a thought on Home in general? How about getting a beta? Let us know your thoughts in our forums