Sony has shown off a new version of Home to attendees of a recent tech show in Monte Carlo, revealing specifics on new areas that'll be in the final package expected for release later this year.
Many of the indoor areas of the originally-revealed Home have been replaced with more spacious outdoor environments, with better signposts to guide gamers around the world.
A new movie theatre, which had only ten screens, has been expanded with an extra floor, and accompanied by a bowling alley and arcade area. Other on-the-side entertainment includes a selection of checkers and chess tables in the town square, where Sony says players will make new friends.
Sony explains that these areas "were heavily influenced by cities like Las Vegas, the Sony Center in Berlin and New York City's Times Square".
Although Home is free, players will use real money via PSN accounts to purchase furniture and other items for their pad, or clothes to dress their 3D avatar. You'll also be able to get yourself a new house. Hopefully it'll be cheaper than the real thing...
Of course, you will also be paying for movies and music content planned for Home.
The initial release, Home version 1.0, will undergo post-release expansion, says Sony, as more content is added via online updates, with Home Developer Kits having reportedly gone out to Sony partners already.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe creative director, Ron Festejo toldLocal Tech Wire: "Home is a cross between private chat rooms, MySpace, YouTube and online gaming," comparing the service to the PC online world, Second Life.
"If you've ever tried Second Life, you can immediately see how much richer this world is and how accessible it is.
"Home will offer the chance for gamers to get together with old friends and make new ones," he added, continuing: "It will offer endless entertainment, including gaming. We've certainly raised the bar with what people have seen in virtual worlds to date."
Feb 4, 2008