New Sony Home Screens; Bodes Well For A GDC Beta?

Home Lobby

A Japanese Sony site (unearthed by Wollan at NeoGAF) has many screens of the new “updated” beta for Sony’s ambitious Home project. (GamerSyde has a much more accessible gallery if you’d rather not wander around a Flash site written in Katakana*). Home has obviously undergone a major overhaul.

This project has been delayed at least twice – Sony seems anxious to make a positive first impression, even at the cost of launching potentially a year after they intended. They know they can’t screw up this launch. This is the PS3’s answer to Live and will ideally form the social personality of the platform, not to mention Sony’s video/music marketplace goals. Plus, they’ve spent a fuckton of money.

According to multiple sources, the Home team has taken feedback from the ongoing (and now badly out-of-date) closed public beta of around 50,000 users and used this input to revise several aspects. The most notable being the public lobby, seen above, which used to be a sort of sportsplex/bigbox-looking dome building, and is now an open park. I also note that for the first time you can see the exteriors of living spaces from the main square. I’m guessing the apartments themselves are “instanced”.

The visual quality has definitely gone up another notch. There’s something about the architecture and design of Home that is really appealing. Maybe this is narrowminded of me to say, but I can tell this comes from Europe. Something about the selection of apartments and the choices available… I don’t know what it is.

Here’s hoping we see new footage, or even better an actual launch (call it a beta and get it out there ferfuxsake!) around GDC. That’s February 18th.

* or whatever… leave me be, pedants


4 responses to “New Sony Home Screens; Bodes Well For A GDC Beta?”

  1. I wonder how customizable the Avatars are going to be? And i’m not talking about different T-shirts, but the physical representations. As plastic as SecondLife?

  2. I think it will have a lot of options within the limits of “realistic”. Doubt you’ll be able to walk around as a three-headed dog or anything like that.

  3. What?! No 3 headed dogs? Well, fuck that then, god damn sony, taking away my right to look like a 3 headed dog!

  4. Get thee to Second Life, you deviant!

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