Sony has confirmed that its virtual world - Home - will launch this autumn.

The service, which is going head-to-head with Second Life, was originally expected to launch this month but, according to Sony's president Kaz Hirai, the company "needed more time to refine the service to ensure a more focused gaming entertainment experience than what it is today".

Home will allow PlayStation 3 users to create their own their own avatars and virtual apartment spaces, which they can fill with virtual possessions. They will be able to interact through a number of ways, including typing, talking to each other using headsets or even using e-motions.

Eric Lempel, director of the PlayStation Network, told Next-Gen: "The Home open beta is still on schedule for release later this fall. The reason we've been delaying Home is so that we can deliver a high-quality service that the users will enjoy".

"Even though it will be in beta, it will be a fair representation of what the service can be and its potential, so it won't be a 0.5 release, it will be a fully robust service," he added.

See also: Sony's Second Life competitor delayed again