Sony Officially Announce Home For PS3

After a few days of speculation Home – a service to let users create their own avatar and explore a real-time virtual community – has now been officially announced by Sony. As many believed the service seems to be a crossbreed of Mii’s and Xbox Live with a few intresting new ideas thrown in. Sony boasts that it is a first-of-its-kind 3D online user community service for the PS3. They also revealed that the service will become available globally beginning in fall 2007.

The service utilizes avatars uniquely customized according to each user’s preference and a 3D community called Home – which is modelled after 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. Communication with others is achieved through built in text, audio and video chat, along with sophisticated emotional animations for each character.

Another feature of Home is 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 Playstation Network and for other games they’ve yet to purchase.

“This is a significant step forward in the area of user community services and emergent entertainment experiences,” said Izumi Kawanishi, Corporate Executive and CTO Software, SCEI. “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.