Sony has plans to launch its PlayStation Home online service this October, it has announced, and Home’s website has gone up in anticipation.

First mentioned during Phil Harrison's keynote at the GDC last week, the initial download is expected be "under 500MB", with subsequent patches "hopefully" integreated via a streaming solution "that makes them negligible".

It all sounds like double Dutch geek talk to me but according to a third party relation source a closed beta phase for around 15,000 users will take place between April and August, with an open beta for around 50,000 operating between August and October to help gamers become familiar with the system.

Some Home features will probably be accessible via PSP and mobile phones, Sony has said, and users can also count on paid-for special events, and increasing levels of integration.

The environment's persistence is something that Sony's working on at the moment. "Currently Home is not a persistent world, so when you leave Home, all of your possessions go with you. For instance, it is not currently possible for other users to visit your apartment while you're not there", Sony said.

"We are working on the persistent aspect of Home, and expect to implement it in the long term."