Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) has announced that it has begun a closed beta test for Home
, its online 3D avatar-based community for the PlayStation 3, beginning with a small group of internal testers and staff.
The announcement follows emails that began to circulate roughly one week ago, primarily to members of Playstation.com's Gamer Advisory Panel, inviting them to apply for a U.S. beta slot.
at this year's GDC during Sony's keynote, Home
was posited as a lynchpin in Sony's 'Game 3.0' philosophy, with Sony's Phil Harrison announcing the PS3-specific online world with clothing and avatar customization - a "3D social networking service" in which you can "express yourself and your personality".
Harrison later explained in an interview with Gamasutra
that "the unifying theme of Home
is entertainment, and the fact that users are connected together in a 3D world, and that they can communicate and cooperate together. Everything about Home
has to do with the PlayStation experience, be it PlayStation games, or movies, or music. It's very much focused on the digital entertainment that you would want to get out of your PlayStation 3."
SCEE has also said that after this initial beta, the test will be open more widely "at some point during the summer," including those registered on the official Home beta trial website