Home was being billed as the cornerstone of the PS3's online experience. "This [Home] is a significant step forward in the area of user community services and emergent entertainment experiences," said Izumi Kawanishi, Corporate Executive and CTO Software, SCEI. "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."
Unfortunately, a full year after we first saw videos of Home it still has yet to appear on the PS3. Home has entered a very limited closed beta testing session, which, unfortunately, has already been extended as Home seems to be facing some design and development issues.
"We understand that we are asking PS3 and prospective PS3 users to wait a bit longer, but we have come to the conclusion that we need more time to refine the service to ensure a more focused gaming entertainment experience than what it is today," said Kazuo Hirai, President and Group CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. "Our overarching objective is to provide users with new gaming experiences that are available only on PlayStation Home. Spending more time on the development and on the Closed Beta testing reaffirms our commitment to bringing a quality service, maintaining the PlayStation tradition."
PlayStation Home is expected to go into open beta in the fall of 2008. While PS3 owners may be pleased with the updates to the PlayStation store, the PlayStation Network still seems too lag behind the Xbox Live service offered by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 and Windows. Many gamers have claimed that Xbox Live Achievements are reason enough to buy the Xbox 360 version of a multiplatform game over the PS3 version. Many PS3 owners were hoping that Home's Hall of Fame trophy gallery might offer them an enhanced version of the same experience. Unfortunately they will have to wait until the fall of 2008 to find out.