Sony goes Home with PlayStation 3

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Sony goes Home with PlayStation 3

First 3D online user community service for the PS3.

Sony Computer Entertainment has unveiled its first 3D online user community service for the PlayStation 3.

The 'Home' service will enable users to create their own avatar and explore a real-time virtual community as if they were playing a detailed 3D game on the console.

The system is similar to Nintendo's Mii avatars that Wii users create to interact with other gamers over the internet.

Sony's service will be available as a free download via the cross media bar, and is scheduled for worldwide release in the Autumn.

Home is a real-time online 3D networked community, allowing PS3 users to interact, communicate, join online games, shop, share private content and even build and show off their own spaces to others.

Each user's avatar is assigned an apartment where they can invite others to join them as they show off their own style in an area they can personalise with furniture, art and other items.

Users can also show personal videos, pictures and other digital media content found on their PS3 hard drives.

"This is a significant step forward in the area of user community services and emergent entertainment experiences," said Izumi Kawanishi, corporate executive and chief technology officer of software at Sony.

"While the 3D graphics demonstrate the power of PlayStation 3 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."

Home will go into a closed beta test this spring with a full launch targeted for later this year.
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