The show is far from over, but so far at GDC Sony’s has been kicking some serious tushy. The star attraction: PS3 Home. It is a downloadable function that looks to take on both Xbox Live and the Mii Channel in one fell swoop.

Home is somewhat difficult to effectively describe in words so you’ll have to watch the video to understand completely, but think along the lines of a mash-up of Xbox Live, The Sims, Second Life, and Myspace.

It's like Xbox Live because it’s a hub for PS3 online users. Wherein the user can download demos, videos, and chat. The Sims, because you create a realistic character and guide it around Home’s 3D world. Second Life, because it’s a social networking tool where everyone and their characters can meet and interact. Myspace, because you create your own space and customize it according to your desires.

I’ve definitely had my doubts about where Sony and their gaming machine were headed, but with this new idea has taken a sudden turn for the better. Home is set for an ambiguous fall release. A beta test is already being set up for what Sony Exec. Phil Harrison anticipates will begin sometime in April. When the press gets its greasy little hands on Home during this beta we’ll get a feel for how it handles the stress of an early beginnings online service.

This is all very cool stuff, but try not to get too excited. Every service like this has its jerky start. Certainly Xbox Live didn’t begin as the success that it is right now, and neither will Home. It will take time to work out the kinks, but when they do I’m pretty confident that they’ll have a service rivaling, if not exceeding, Xbox Live.

Sony needed a big showing at GDC this year and so far they’ve had it. With little but bad news surrounding the Xbox 360 (what with more system failures and a bunch of negative press on Live Anywhere) Sony has a chance to finally get a leg up on Microsoft in the eyes of the gaming public. MS is staggered, but not out, we’ll see what they come out with in the last days of the show. For now, check out the video and then head over to our other story on LittleBigPlanet for further evidence that Sony hit one out of the park this year.



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