At the Game Developer's conference last week, Sony's Phil Harrison revealed plans for Playstation Home, a new real-time 3D avatar-based community and communication service for the PS3 platform.
The service will allow 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 PLAYSTATION Store and will launch directly from XMB (XrossMediaBar) on PS3.
Harrison revealed that a free service will hit beta stage in April and now we hear that Home will be rolled out in three stages.
First off will be a closed beta for around 15,000 users which will run from April to August. The second beta phase will accomodate 35,000 users and will run up until October when the full service will launch.
Sony has now launched the beta website , although don't get too excited it doesn't contain any details on if or how we'll be able to sign up to the phase.
Commenting on the new service, Izumi Kawanishi, Corporate Executive and CTO Software, SCEI said "“This is a significant step forward in the area of user community services and emergent entertainment experiences. While the 3D graphics demonstrate the power of PS3 and the PLAYSTATION Network, the most impressive feature in Home is the variety of ways in which multiple consumers, as well as our third-party partners, can experience the next generation of communication by interacting and sharing among each other. I feel strongly that this unique blend of community, user-generated content, collaboration and commerce will expand the future of computer entertainment.”