Home Closed Beta To Extend In July

IGN has a great interview up just now with Ron Festejo, Creative Director and John Venables, Lead Artist where they discuss time scales, beta dates and plans for the future. Whilst the World and his dog eagerly await news of a beta date, Ron Festejo had this to say:

‘So we’re kind of at a point right now where we have between eight and ten thousand participants in the closed beta – and we’re very close with them as well. Come July, we’ll be extending that closed beta phase and expanding it as well. That ends in mid-November, where we do an open beta, and that’ll be available to download from the PlayStation Store for anyone who wants to use it. That’s not the launch, however. It’s just the open beta – and we’ll continue to do it until we see fit to do the final release.’

So Sony will be extending the closed beta in a couple of months, but to whom we have no idea. However, if you’re unlucky enough not to have access you need only wait until November which is when the doors will be open to one and all. Interestingly enough, it appears that Home might outlive the PS3, with Festejo again spilling the beans:

‘The thing is, it’s important to know that Home is a free service and it’s continuously evolving. We don’t see this as being tied to a particular console. We see this as tied into the PlayStation Network; with every console iteration, the online portion of that will only get bigger and bigger. I think Home is there to stay, and it’s a great project to work on when you can see the kind of areas it’ll go on to expand to.’

Whether this is referring to simply the PSP or it’s successor, or even something like an eventual PlayStation 4, it’s clear that Home has a considerable lifespan, and will remain a free service throughout. And as to whether it was revealed too early, what with the recent delays and so on:

‘It could be said that we might’ve mentioned it too early, but I think that if we hadn’t, we wouldn’t be in the position where we are now – courting companies to be involved in Home. So yeah, I think it was okay.’

‘Home will eventually touch other areas; I think we’ve just got to make sure we find the right kinds of experiences that tie it to the core client. Personally, I don’t want to see something released on PSP that doesn’t really replicate the experience that you have on PS3. But it’s about thinking about those right experiences with the core client and how it adds value to that; absolutely, it’s something that’ll be considered in the future.’

As ever, as soon as there’s anything to report on Home, we’ll have it right here on TheSixthAxis…