So the rumor about the Sony Home service was pretty much right on. While it was correct, it contain all of the features announced today. As reported before, you will have your own apartment that you can deck out, you can put pictures on the wall that display images from your HDD, stream your own content and get some furniture and other things to spruce it up and you can invite your friends over and listen to music, chat and send pre-made messages. There are basic apartments and more complex ones that have multiple levels and decks.
All of that is what was pretty much expected, but there is also a central lobby where you enter the area with your avatar. You can walk around, communicate with others or walk up and play a game. There are dynamically changing billboards, and a Home Cinema where I imagine you could go in and see previews or maybe watch full length content.
Companies could set up any type of store or area they choose to interact with players in this central lobby area. So while I have been pretty down on Sony about the PS3 in general, this looks like something that has a lot of potential. It should be in beta in April with a planned fall launch.