PlayStation Universe

Home 'soft launch' confirmed

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PSU reported a few days ago on the possibility of a 'soft launch' of Home. It appears that the report was indeed correct, as is now reporting that Sony has confirmed a soft launch for the touted social networking product.

"In the past we'd make a game, put it on a disc and launch it in the shops. But this is so different," Jamie MacDonald, VP of Sony Worldwide Studios explained. "It's a constantly evolving thing. Week by week and month by month it evolves. There isn't going to be this 'big bang' launch. That's how you do it in the Web 2.0 world, if you're familiar with the launch of Gmail or something like that."

Home is a social setting which Sony has built on top of their network, featuring elaborate world designs in which your avatar can chill in your apartment, go to the arcade, or catch a movie. It has drawn many comparisons to Second Life, but as Peter Edward, Director of the PlayStation Home Platform Group, explained to ThreeSpeech recently, the comparison should be an intellectual one only -- Sony did not draw on Second Life for inspiration.

"When we started work on this, Second Life didn’t exist," Peter explained. "Our motivation, originally, right from the word go, was that we fed up with going into online games for five seconds before dying, and we thought there must be a better, more congenial way of leading an online existence."

Reports have been circulating on a 'launch' date for Home in early October or late September, but with the comments from Sony, it appears that 'launch' will be quite a fluid term.

"At the moment the closed beta is employees, trusted third-parties and people like that," MacDonald said. "An open beta will be a wider audience but it won't be open to everybody. We haven't worked out the exact way of doing it but it will be invites to people to ask if they want to be part of it, and then depending on what the response is, we'll have to have some way of deciding who can and who can't take part."

We'll be sure to bring you any fresh news on how to get into Home as soon as possible, as we're sure many are waiting patiently for its arrival in their XMB. Be sure to check back for any news right here on PSU. Interview: Here
ThreeSpeech Interview: Here