It’s an interesting situation: by keeping the current version of Home locked behind a closed beta Sony have managed to raise hype levels to massive highs. Updates aren’t advertised, known features are kept to a minimum and the enigma around just what’s behind those doors is just too enticing to contain. Home is set to revolutionise the way we think of consoles, chat and social gaming, yet very few people have access to the system and even fewer are willing to talk about it.
TheSixthAxis doesn’t have a key for Home. Apart from a few leaked screens and dodgy Youtube videos we’ve never actually seen what’s in store for us when Sony finally open the doors, and yet we’re constantly refreshing the http://homebetatrial.com site desperately hoping for something new on there, where we can throw down our PSN IDs and wait for entry. But the hype is crazy, and every scrap of information we can find ends up in our Home info page. Why? Because it’s new, because on a console this has never been done before, and because the potential for this is unmeasurable.
Home isn’t just a communication tool to hang out with your friends in a life-like 3D environment. Sure, you can do that, but from creating your own Homespace and inviting mates to see your latest photographs and movies to showing off your trophies from Burnout and Uncharted this really will be an amazing piece of software. And it’s not just aimed at consumers – Sony is actively pushing the ability to create game-specific spaces, competitions, theatres and much more to developers, and we already know that Home will have the ability to push bespoke minigames our way.
Gone too will be standard flat lobbies in games – gamers will be able to meet like-minded players, chat about games they want to play together and then jump right into a multiplayer game directly from Home, as demoed at E3 with Motorstorm. It’s a brilliant concept and one that coupled with the completely free online offered for PS3 owners must surely become a selling point on the retail boxes in the future.
With limitless expandability and what we hope will be a massive online following, we simply cannot wait for Home any longer. Sony, we urge you to let us know when an open beta is coming, get that webform into gear and let us, your loyal fans, in on the action. Here at TSA we’ve already got plans for our Homespace, so let’s see a date set in concrete so we can all mark our calendars. Home is coming, sure, but if it’s not next week with the Store update (and chances are it’s not) then please tell us when…