20 games that will shape the PS3 - Part 2

Can I expand my property?
Good question. In Second Life, users can create and sell stuff for virtual cash, which can be used to acquire more land - so it's possible to become a property magnate, and even change your hard-earned wealth back into real money. How this'll work in Home is unclear - will you be rewarded for achievements, able to auction off a car you've pimped in Need for Speed or simply batter your online account some more? We'll know soon.

Can I be a sex horse?
Part of Second Life 's popularity stems from its tolerance for more "bohemian" lifestyles - but it isn't clear how much smut Sony will permit. Initially the service will require parental consent for under-18s- in time, we might see special "adults-only" sections that are less strictly policed. It'll be interesting to see how Sony copes with user-generated content and prevents people from showing sex in the theater.

The arcade
This is where you can meet up with friends to play free games like bowling, pool or retro arcade classics. Simply walking up to a table or cabinet activates them.

Other lounges
Companies will be able to create their own spaces to promote their products - so EA, say, might let you shoot hoops or practice your swing in their branded driving range. It isn't limited to games developers, so expect to see the likes of Adidas crafting their own palatial adver-dromes. Go capitalism!

Central Lounge
This is the main large social meeting space and your starting point in Home. If you're in a rush, you'll simply be able to communicate via emoticons and a Quick Write menu, but for more in-depth chat you can type with a USB keyboard or talk with a Bluetooth headset.

The theater
You'll be able to watch game trailers and user-generated content - like YouTube, but better quality - as well as films. There's no word on cost, but surely completing Spider-Man 3 should be good for a ticket to see the flick?

Your Home
Your apartment comes with your account and you're free to lavish it with new wallpaper and furniture, or even pictures or videos from your hard drive - so you can put holiday snapshots on the walls. Not everybody will be able to access your apartment, of course - you let friends in by sending them an invite.

Character customization
These are like the Miis you might have seen on a Nintendo Wii, except even more customizable. Heads, legs, hair, facial hair and accessories are all editable, and Phil Harrison promises that face-creating options will get more advanced in time. Expect to see Borat and Hitler strutting around within seconds of the service going live.

Hall of Fame
This is where your in-game achievements are stored as 3D Trophies and video to be browsed by awed gamers. You can rearrange them at your leisure, so give that Killzone on Hard trophy pride of place.

Virtual PSP
Your Virtual PSP is how you access all the features and options of Home, and lets you hop between "bookmarked" spaces - which should prove useful when the world expands.