Officials from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) have announced that the company is to expand the closed beta testing for PlayStation Home
this summer, in terms of both length and number of participants.
Home’s ambitious online community service has already been delayed
from its originally intended late 2007 launch to spring 2008. At the time the earlier delay was explained by a desire to incorporate more user feedback and the difficulties of preparing a near simultaneous worldwide launch.
Details of the closed beta testing features, registration for the test and the opening of the service are yet to be announced by Sony. Open beta testing is now expected to begin until autumn 2008.
“We understand that we are asking PS3 and prospective PS3 users to wait a bit longer, but we have come to the conclusion that we need more time to refine the service to ensure a more focused gaming entertainment experience than what it is today," said Kazuo Hirai, president and group CEO at SCEI.
"Our overarching objective is to provide users with new gaming experiences that are available only on PlayStation Home
. Spending more time on the development and on the closed beta testing reaffirms our commitment to bringing a quality service, maintaining the PlayStation tradition."