PlayStation Home 1.04 Update Temporarily Disables Voice Chat
PlayStation Home is off and running...well, it's off, anyway. Sony is working to resolve the more crippling technical issues that have plagued the promising experience since the open beta launched, and the latest update comes tonight.
This patch updates Home from ver. 1.03 to ver. 1.04 and Sony needs to bring the service down for maintenance to perform the update. It will start at midnight (PST) tonight and according to the official PlayStation blog, they expect it to last 6 hours. You won't be able to access Home during this time frame, but this isn't the issue that's disappointing users: once you have updated to 1.04, you will no longer be able to utilize voice chat. This feature will be "temporarily suspended" because it will release some of the immense pressure on Sony's servers, as pointed out by PS3Fanboy. In the meantime, Sony recommends using the new wireless keypad or a USB or Bluetooth-enabled keyboard. This is a setback, to be sure, but Sony assures us this is only temporary and they will have voice chat back as soon as they're done making the necessary adjustments to the servers. After all, there was such an insane level of demand for Home over the past week or so...it should come as no surprise that the servers would suffer. At least Sony is on top of things, right?
Home will only continue to grow with time, and while we've already had fun with Saucer Pop and entertained ourselves by visiting the Bowling Alley and the Mall, we know it has a long ways to go. This is only the first step of many to come.
12/18/2008 Ben Dutka