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New Home info sneaks out

Aug 29, 2007

New details of Sony's Home, the firm's 3D virtual world it hopes will help boost the status of its online service, have emerged via an insider on the beta.

What's good about Home, according to the insider, is that it works and it is fun. "It's easy to go in and socialize and have a fun time doing it. It has a very open atmosphere, so you can pretty much walk up to anyone and start chatting with them," they told IGN.

What's not so good is that Sony is reportedly not sticking to the roadmap of Home development it outlined previously, with delays to the implementation of a number of features. "Sony also had a monthly roadmap of improvements/features/places they were going to implement but have not followed it. Home has had one update since launch."

Also, for some peculiar reason, the insider's avatar is prone to random changes in hair colour! Here are the major details:

There are currently four areas for players to explore with their avatars and in which to mingle with other gamers: your apartment, a lobby, a movie theatre and a game room, all of which Sony showcased at GDC.

Communication features, which were implemented from day one, are said to work very well and are supported by Bluetooth headsets as well as keyboards. You have to hold R2 to speak and the closer you are to another character the better they'll hear you.

Your apartment can be customized (the physics of furniture arranging apparently work as promised) while the lobby offers a place to relax and chat and the movie theatre screens game and film trailers. The games room has pool tables, bowling lanes and arcade machines.

Apparently, none of the new features or areas outlined at E3 such as the ability to invite friends into games or to join others' games, have yet to be implemented.

Similarly, advanced functionality of wallpaper, music, photos and video playback in apartments is yet to be included. While you can select pre-set photos to put into frames around the apartment, the ability to play back content from a hard drive is not there yet, nor is it possible to play back video and audio of any type at present. TVs or stereos do not yet appear in the list of available types of furniture.

Players can only visit other apartments when invited, and the host must be present for a visit to take place. Once invited, players can "warp" to other apartments.

There is currently no trophy room, the area where gamers can display trophies picked up during play.

[Source: Next Generation]