Home is a real-time online 3D, networked community available on the PS Network. It allows PS3 users to interact, communicate, join online games, shop, share private content and even build and show off their own personal spaces to others in real time. Home will be available as a free download from the PS Store and will launch directly from XMB (XrossMediaBar) on PS3.
With an avatar uniquely customized according to each user's preference, users can explore the 3D community that is Home -- a sleek, modern environment featuring spacious common areas; custom spaces dedicated to specific games; and personal apartments. Each user is assigned an apartment in Home where they can invite others to join them as they show off their own style in an area they can personalize themselves with furniture, art and other items -- even a different view from their windows. They can also show their personal video, pictures and other digital media content found on their PS3 hard drives in their apartments. Very rich interactive communication with others is achieved through built in text, audio and video chat, along with sophisticated emotional animations for each character.
Attendees were drawn from 10,000 PS3 users who have been test-driving Home as ‘closed beta’ users. Given exclusive VIP entry to the Space, they were greeted by an impressive, large-scale area dressed with various elements from real-world PlayStation Day, including the iconic hexagonal branding and artwork from each of the day’s PlayStation zones. Users were able to explore the Space, experiencing highlights of the day such as a photo gallery of games developers and a jumbo screen of the day’s speeches with an introduction from Kazuo "Kaz" Hirai, President and Group Chief Executive Officer of Sony Computer Entertainment. Users were also able to enjoy a video stream of all the action from the real-world PlayStation Day experience.
The online Media & Events Space can be re-dressed and re-branded just like a real-life venue. Following the test event’s success, Home will now start scheduling more elaborate and exciting productions for the Space, which will be available for use by both first and third parties.
“As well as looking great, the Media and Events Space is flexible and user-friendly - it’s a real focal point for our virtual community. This was a very exciting first event and we’ve already received plenty of great feedback,” says Home producer Martijn Van Der Meulen.
Sharing continues in the "Hall of Fame," where users can display new 3D trophies that will be unlocked through in-game milestones for the games they own as well viewing the trophies of other users across the PS Network and for other games they've yet to purchase.
The PlayStation Home Open Beta service that will become available in Fall 2008 will be built around providing new and fun community gaming experiences. Details of the Closed Beta testing features, registration for the test and the opening of the service will be announced as they become available.
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