After pushing back the launch date by more than a year and following a long period of closed public beta testing, Sony has announced that it is finally ready to open the floodgates and launch PlayStation Home tomorrow, December 11. It will be a worldwide open beta that anyone owning a PS3 console can be involved in.
In a nutshell, the basic idea behind Home is that users create an avatar which will “live” in a virtual environment that can be customized to their preferences and be able to wander around the world interacting with other users via voice chat, text, and a handful of games. There are also title-specific places open for users to “discuss […], plan strategies and access content and clues that will enhance their gaming experience” – two of them will launch tomorrow for Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Far Cry 2.
According to Sony, more of these environments are on the way from partnerships formed with Activision, Disney Eidos, Electronic Arts, Lucas Arts, THQ and Ubisoft. In addition, PlayStation Home will offer a variety of presumably free and paid mini games along with other “consumer brand spaces” where users can participate in sponsored events or buy stuff to customize their personal environment or virtual appearance.