If you own a PlayStation 3 and are not one of the lucky ones participating in the closed beta that is currently underway, I would think it’s a safe bet to say that you are anxious to see what Home has to offer. Though the community program has faced numerous delays, it looks like the wait won’t last too much longer. In an interview with Next Generation, the Director of PLAYSTATION Network Operations, Eric Lempel, stressed that “The Home open beta is still on schedule for release later this fall.”
I must say it is a smart move on Sony’s part to call the first release a beta. Closed betas, while useful for user feedback on the features themselves, can’t give information on how the servers will hold up. Additionally, if something goes wrong, as happened with the release of the PS3’s 2.40 firmware, the problem can be marked off as the result of the application still being in beta.
Though it will be beta at first, don’t expect to experience a half-hearted service. Sony wants us to know that the delays have been worth it, as Lempel assures, “Even though it will be in beta, it will be a fair representation of what the service can be and its potential, so it won’t be a 0.5 release, it will be a fully robust service.” No word on what time this fall Home will be arriving, or when it will be out of beta, but one thing is for certain — come this fall, PS3 owners will have a chance to decide for themselves whether or not the wait was worth it.
[See also: PLAYSTATION Home gallery]