updated 08:15 am EST, Wed December 10, 2008
PS Home Open Beta Thursday
Sony on Wednesday quickly followed up its earlier confirmation of a PlayStation Home launch this year with word that it will launch an open beta of the virtual world on Thursday, December 11th. The now publicly accessible PS3 community will not only include spaces for individuals and for like-minded groups (considered "clubs") but should launch with public spaces themed around specific flagship PS3 games, including SOCOM and Uncharted.
The environment also includes casual games and a for-pay system that lets users purchase clothing for their avatars as well as objects and decorations for their locations; they can also buy club spaces. Typical pricing isn't available and should vary depending both on the country and the items themselves.
Basic access to Home is free and doesn't require a direct firmware update. The service should automatically be available to download for any console started or rebooted after Home is live.