The PlayStation Home community service for the PlayStation 3 console has been delayed again. Sony originally planned to make the service available in fall 2007, then delayed it to spring 2008 and now the firm says the closed beta test has been extended to fall 2008. The open beta test will be launched this fall but it's uncertain when PlayStation Home will be launched as a full service.
The service was first announced in July last year and promised to provide users with the ability to create their own avatars and participate in a real-time virtual world, something like a cross between the Mii avatars on Nintendo's Wii and the Second Life community. At the time Sony said it would be available globally in the "fall" of 2007 but that was delayed until "spring" 2008 at the Tokyo Game Show.
Now Sony says it will allow more users to join a closed beta test but doesn't plan to open up the service until the "fall" of this year, and then only as an open beta test.
"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 of Sony Computer Entertainment, in a statement.