How to: Become a Sony PS4 beta tester

Want to be running the latest version of Sony's PlayStation 4 firmware? Here's how to sign up.

If you can't wait to tinker with the latest features Sony's PlayStation 4 is capable of, you may be in luck. Sony has opened the doors of its beta-testing platform to everyone, giving you the chance to discover, test and tinker with the PS4's newest features before anyone else.

In the past, Sony has run small beta tests of its new PS4 firmware releases, but this time it's looking to expand its pool of testers. By signing up you'll be able to download the next iteration of PS4 firmware and get on the list to receive future updates as and when they arrive.

So how do you sign up to be a beta tester? Thankfully the process is quick and easy:

To register your interest in Sony's beta programme, simply sign up with your PlayStation Network account here.

If successful, you'll receive an email on 26 August confirming your place in the beta programme and, as of 2 September, will be able to download the new experimental firmware.

Not sure if you should take the plunge? Well, there are some things to bear in mind before you sign up:

Places are limited. Sony may have opened the gates to more testers, but it's not allowing everyone to jump in and experience the new beta firmware all at once.

It's only open to PS4 master accounts, so no sub accounts can take part.

Your PS4 needs an active internet connection as Sony won't be distributing the beta firmware as a downloadable file from its website.

The beta firmware may not be stable so don't install it if you're precious about your saved games and installed software or you would rather not experience any odd quirks when using your PS4.

You can always roll back to firmware version 2.57 if you end up hating the v3 beta firmware.

Although Sony hasn't disclosed what we can expect from the new PS4 firmware, Japanese site Pocket News (via TheSixthAxis) leaked a list of the new features that are rumoured to be making their debut. These include:

A new Events hub to bring all PlayStation-based events into a single place.

A new Communities feature that allows players to chat and play games with PS4 owners who share similar tastes and interests.

A new Now Playing screen that shows which titles your friends and community members are playing, and allows you to join them in-game.

Support for live broadcasting to YouTube.

Support for ten-second video uploads to Twitter.

A revamped Messages screen with support for Now Playing and Favourite Groups.

We'll be putting the new beta features to the test if we manage to get on the list.

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