PlayStation Home, Sony's Second Life-esque virtual environment, has been ‘coming soon' since the console's launch, which for us in the UK is well over a year ago now. Now, though, it looks like we could be waiting a lot longer as Sony has just announced an extension to Home's closed beta throughout summer, with an open beta starting in autumn. As the saying goes; a delay by any other name would taste as bitter.
Kazuro Hirai, SCE President and CEO explained a bit further saying:
"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. 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."
In a nutshell, PlayStation Home is going to take a while longer to surface fully, but it will be all the better for it when that finally happens. Hopefully the development team won't prove Hirai wrong!
Returning to the subject of beta testing, registration for the new testing stage will open sometime soon, with Sony will announcing exactly when you can register. If you happen to own a PS3 and really can't wait until next year, which is as early as I now see a full scale launch, this is your chance to get in on the action.