You're going to have to wait a little bit longer for Home. Sony's much-discussed online service debuted at GDC over a year ago, but it's still been restricted to a number of closed beta participants. According to a new press release by both SCEA and SCEE, the closed beta testing will continue through Summer, with an open beta finally available in the Fall.
"We understand that we are asking PS3 and prospective PS3 users to wait a bit longer, but we have come to the conclusion that we need more time to refine the service to ensure a more focused gaming entertainment experience than what it is today," said Kazuo Hirai, President and Group CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. "Our overarching objective is to provide users with new gaming experiences that are available only on PLAYSTATION Home. Spending more time on the development and on the Closed Beta testing reaffirms our commitment to bringing a quality service, maintaining the PlayStation tradition."
It appears that more people will be invited into the closed beta. However, this recent delay of Home is continuing a disturbing trend of promises that are delivered late or not at all, such as in-game XMB and game invites -- these features are far more valuable than an online world to walk through. We're sure everyone will echo the same sentiment: it's been taking Sony much too long to deliver on these promises. Stay tuned for any new developments regarding the Home beta.