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(Pocket-lint) - One of the areas Microsoft has been strongest in the current generation console battle is in growing its Xbox One operating system and user experience rapidly, even opening up the process for feedback by the gaming community ahead of each official patch.

The Preview Program has been a success story, giving Xbox One owners the chance to respond to prospective changes to the console and now Sony is about to do something similar.

It is looking for PS4 owners who want to try out the next major firmware update ahead of its official release.

According to the PlayStation blogs both sides of the pond, beta testers can sign up today and, if selected, will get a "sneak peek" at the new features the company wants to roll out in the near future.

In return, testers will have to supply feedback on ways to improve it before general release.

The beta program starts on 2 September and only a limited number of beta testers will be chosen from those who apply, so get your application in soon if you are interested.

You will need a PlayStation 4 and internet connection, naturally, and have to be running a master account - you cannot apply from a sub account.

There is currently no word on when the full firmware update will be released or any of the features it might bring, and considering the strict confidentiality agreement you have to sign, we suspect penalties for leaks will be harsh.

If you are in the UK you can sign up here, or here if you are in North America.

Writing by Rik Henderson.