If you’re getting excited about Sony’s PlayStation Home virtual world for PS3, you’ll want to check out this story on GamesIndustry.biz. A developer Q&A on Sony’s website has revealed more details about the launch schedule for its Second Life beater. In short:
– PlayStation Home is launching in October. A closed beta for 15,000 users will take place between April and August, then an open beta for around 50,000 users between August and October.
– The initial download for the world will be “under 500MB”, although there will be downloadable patches after that.
– Some Home features may be accessible via PSP and mobile phones. It’s surprising that Sony’s Phil Harrison didn’t mention this in his GDC keynote last week, but maybe the technical elements are still up in the air.
– PlayStation Home isn’t a persistent world. “When you leave Home, all of your possessions go with you,” says the document. “For instance, it is not currently possible for other users to visit your apartment while you’re not there.” Hopefully this’ll change by the time the world launches properly – Sony says it’s working on this “in the long term”.
– Say hello to advertising, content auctions, downloadable content, “premium events” and even retro games being hosted in the world as playable mini-games. If someone sets up a virtual Great Yarmouth, complete with scraggy arcades, I swear I’ll never leave the house again…
– Home could take on eBay, with user-to-user auctions. However, there will be strict restrictions on media sharing. Surely this could change though, if the music / film industries sort out their approaches to digital rights management (DRM). Sharing isn’t JUST about pirating MP3s, y’know…
Anyway, it’s good to get more info on one of Tech Digest’s 10 ways to rationalise pre-ordering a PS3.