Did you hear? The Home open beta starts today. The client has been patched up to version 1.03 and the servers are down while Sony does various jiggerypokery behind the scenes. TedTheDog states that the service should be back up, along with the launch of open beta, "early PM UK time," though he adds that he can't be more specific than that, thanks to the nature of the global updates.
Ted also confirms that the Home icon will appear on the XMB as soon as the final switch is pulled, though people who are using their PS3s at the time will need to restart. In case you're wondering, it's already past Midday in the UK, so it could go live at any minute. We'll update this post as soon as that happens.
[UPDATE] TedTheDog has updated with the current situation, as of 3pm GMT (10am EST): "Still progressing nicely, now on the testing stage. No eta still as I wouldnt want to guess how long it will take for each region to verify its elements are working but we're getting there." Shouldn't be too long now ...
More updates after the break [UPDATE 2] Rut roh! "Testing complete and a couple of technical problems have been found. We need to iron these issues out first and I'm waiting to hear how long that might take (I'm not qualified to even guess, its very technical). Apologies, I know you all want to get in but we must get these things right. And please remember, this is a beta and today is our first step into the Open Beta environment and what we're doing today is part of the beta process itself."
Also, it appears that the Far Cry 2 and Uncharted spaces won't be available in the European beta today. Likewise the new Diesel and Ligne Roset stores, along with the Red Bull Air Race, won't be available til next week. The American beta should include all these things today. Feel free to say mean things about SCEE in the comments below.
[UPDATE 3] Things don't seem to be going brilliantly over at Sony HQ. TedTheDog writes: "Apologies for the delay in an update, you may have noticed a PSN outage in the last hour. Things seem back on track now although the outage delayed us a little we are moving again. Hope to have another update soon."