We’ve just had word from our source that a limited version of Home will go live at Midnight on the 31st of March. The new branch of Home, separate from the closed beta, will be called ‘Flat’, be open for everyone as a free download from the PSN and last for exactly 30 days.
Flat will apparently give the player just a single apartment (there won’t be any communal areas, theatres, gaming halls etc) but you will be able to invite up to 3 of your PSN friends to come to your Flat. They will be teleported in instantly – the front door does not open, apparently. Our source says that Flat will feature custom soundtracks via a hi-fi installed in the main room of the flat, and video streaming via a flat-screen TV and will support videos already recorded via Play TV. Cool.
Word is that Flat will be used as a test-bed for future Home development, much of which is in the current closed beta but will also extend to PSN microtransactions for various flat upgrades, decorations and emergency sink drainage services, and a trial of in-game messaging to other Flat members. Users in the UK will have to pay a small line rental fee for such a feature that’s normally free for other countries. Excitingly any trophies gained from Burnout Revenge and Devil May Cry will be crammed in the cupboard in the bedroom, where you can store a maximum of 10 such awards before having to have a car boot sale.
In addition, players will be able to dress up their avatar and buy various accessories such as bangles, sovereign rings, heelies and certain domestic appliances should the Flat need a bit of a clean. You’ll be able to select a location for your Flat on first boot from the likes of Puy-de-Dôme in France, Alaska and Texas. We’ll hopefully have screens and some kind of confirmation on this soon.
Update: to everyone that saw fit to email in: yeah, it’s a joke. We know. Needed more sarcasm smilies, huh? Hey, it’s Friday afternoon. Go get a beer or something.