Sony has unveiled its upcoming Home online service, a virtual community users can explore with their own avatar, at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco. The 3D world (pictured), which appears to be a cross between Second Life and Cyworld, will go live globally in the autumn. Sony says PlayStation 3 users will be able to interact, communicate, join online games, shop, share private content and build their own personal spaces in real time.
In Home, each user is assigned an apartment which they can personalize with furniture, art and other items, and where they can invite others to join them to chat or view personal video, pictures and other digital media content stored on their hard drives. The community will be available as a free download from the PlayStation Network but items for use within the game will have a cost attached. It will launch directly from XrossMediaBar on the PS3.
“This is a significant step forward in the area of user community services and emergent entertainment experiences,” promised Sony’s Izumi Kawanishi, “While the 3D graphics demonstrate the power of PS3 and the PlayStation Network, the most impressive feature in Home is the variety of ways in which multiple consumers, as well as our third-party partners, can experience the next generation of communication by interacting and sharing among each other. I feel strongly that this unique blend of community, user-generated content, collaboration and commerce will expand the future of computer entertainment.”