Official PlayStation Magazine reports that the virtual environment interface of PS3 Home will only allow basic human avatars. (Link via Kotaku, via Games Radar.) Home’s executive producer told the magazine:
If everyone’s walking around dressed as orcs or stormtroopers or whatever, then you lose that welcoming, accessible element that means Mum, Dad and your sister might get involved as well. The idea is to keep it as accessible, mainstream and friendly as possible.
He’s probably right that allowing geeked-out avatars would turn away certain audiences, though I’m not sure how to respond to his use of the word “mainstream.” This also potentially raises some interesting questions: what could or should be mainstream in an environment when people can choose to look like practically whatever they like? Whatever the case, something tells me that persistent PS3 users will find a way around this limitation (assuming it’s not so limiting that people just don’t care to use it). It seems unlikely that Sony would go out of their way to police inoffensively geeky avatars.