Sony Corp's game unit said it was delaying the launch of its "Home" 3D virtual online community service for the PlayStation 3 game console to autumn of this year, the second such delay.
Sony last year postponed the launch of the "Home" service, which is aimed at giving users a place to interact with other PS3 users, to early this year from last autumn.
Sony, locked in a three-way battle with Microsoft Corp and Nintendo Co Ltd in the global game industry, said it was delaying the launch to improve product quality, the same reason it cited for the first delay.
"We understand that we are asking PS3 and prospective PS3 users to wait a bit longer," Sony Computer Entertainment Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai said in a statement.
"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."
Offering an innovative online service is important for the PS3, which has been running behind Nintendo's Wii and Microsoft's Xbox 360 in total unit sales.
Shares in Sony closed down 2.8 per cent at 4,510 yen, underperforming the Tokyo stock market's electrical machinery index IELEC, which fell 2.2 per cent. (Reuters)
Sony to delay online service for PS3 again