Rumor: Limited Home Version On March 31
By now, you're probably aware of the closed beta for PlayStation Home that has been going on for quite some time. However, a new rumor has surfaced that says a "limited version" of the intriguing online service will go live at midnight on March 31. This will not be a closed beta, but it'll be available to everyone as a free download from the PlayStation Store. This free trial will last for exactly 30 days, and you can get a glimpse of the upcoming virtual world.
So says TheSixthAxis, this trial is called "Flat," and the user will receive a single apartment. There won't be any other major features, like communal areas and gaming halls, but you will be able to invite 3 PSN friends at any given time to come visit your flat. The apartment will boast custom soundtracks, video streaming on a flat-screen TV and even support videos recorded via PlayTV. Evidently, Sony is using this method as a "test-bed for future Home development." Also included in this 30-day trial are PSN micro-transactions for several flat upgrades and decorations, plus the testing of in-game messaging. Oh, and if you've acquired any trophies from the likes of Devil May Cry 4, those will appear in the cupboard in the bedroom, where you can keep up to 10 awards at any given time.
As for your personal virtual creation, users can purchase plenty of accessories and clothing, and you can also buy domestic appliances for your apartment. As for the flat's location, you will pick from three choices- Puy-de-DŰme in France, Alaska, or Texas. Now, none of this has been confirmed and TheSixthAxis doesn't list an additional source, so all of this is nothing more than rumor. However, it seems very plausible, so we'll keep an eye on things over the next few weeks.
2/29/2008 Ben Dutka