FOSTER CITY, Calif., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today announced it will debut the original competition reality series, The Tester, on PlayStation®Network for free download starting February 18, 2010. In the unique series, 11 hopeful gamers from across the country will compete in grueling physical and mental challenges to win a position as a game tester at SCEA and a $5,000 signing bonus, all under the scrutiny of a panel of judges, including actor/comedian and diehard gamer Hal Sparks. With the launch of The Tester, available for digital download only on PlayStation®3 (PS3™) and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) entertainment systems, SCEA further expands the current library of original and exclusive content on PlayStation Network.
To create The Tester, SCEA teamed up with 51 Minds, the dynamic production company that is the force behind hit series such as The Surreal Life, Rock of Love, For the Love of Ray J, and many more popular TV shows. The Tester will follow contestants over eight episodes as emotions run high, alliances form and they battle with brain and brawn. While donning giant slingshots, paintball guns, and human hamster balls, contestants will be put to the test in a series of elimination challenges shaped around the skills necessary to be a game tester, including dexterity, communication skills and mental prowess. Cast members range in age from 22 – 36 years-old and stem from all walks of life -- from a student, to a paramedic, to a used car salesman.
"Connecting PS3 and PSP owners to great entertainment options and original digital content experiences such as Flower™, flOw and Fat Princess has always been a cornerstone of our vision for PlayStation Network," said Peter Dille, senior vice president of marketing and PlayStation Network. "With the addition of the original series, The Tester, we further establish PlayStation Network as the preeminent destination for digital entertainment in the living room or in the palm of your hand."
The Tester will be hosted by Meredith Molinari, model and host of multiple online music shows. Contestants will be judged by Sparks and Brent Gocke, Release Manager, First Party QA at Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), as well weekly guest panelists such as David Jaffe, Director and Lead Designer of God of War® and Twisted Metal®, and founder of the game company Eat Sleep Play; John Hight, Director, Product Development, for God of War; and Petro Piaseckyj, Managing Producer, International Software at SCE.
New episodes of The Tester will be available on PlayStation®Store for free each Thursday from February 18 through April 8. PS3 owners can also view the latest episode of The Tester with other gamers in the PlayStation®Home Theatre every Thursday, as well as purchase a variety of The Tester virtual items relating to scenes from the show or their favorite cast member.
Since announcing the open casting call in September 2009, SCEA received thousands of videos from gamers across the country, all hoping to be the next PlayStation game tester and an integral part of the first-party development process at SCEA. PlayStation is home to the largest network of first party studios in the video game industry and has launched some of the biggest franchises in videogames today, including Gran Turismo®, God of War, UNCHARTED™, LittleBigPlanet™, Ratchet & Clank®, SOCOM, and more. The winner of The Tester will start their job as an official game tester at the San Diego offices of SCEA following the conclusion of the program.
A trailer and additional information on The Tester is available at www.TheTester.com. The website also features cast and panelist biographies, and audition videos.
About PlayStation Network
PlayStation®Network is an entertainment network that unites people and innovative entertainment to deliver captivating experiences worldwide. In addition to offering new and original forms of entertainment, PlayStation Network supports free and community-centric online gameplay, communication tools, and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) and PlayStation®3 (PS3™) systems connectivity. PlayStation Network has more than 38 million registered accounts worldwide.
About Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.
Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation® and PS one® game consoles, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, the ground-breaking PlayStation®3 (PS3™) computer entertainment system and its digital services PlayStation®Network and PlayStation®Store.
Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets and distributes software for the PS one game console, the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, PlayStation 3 and the PSP system for the North American market. Based in Foster City, Calif., Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. serves as headquarters for all North American operations and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
About 51 Minds Entertainment
After first joining forces to create the pop culture reality show, The Surreal Life, veteran television producers Cris Abrego and Mark Cronin came together to form one of the most influential production companies, 51 Minds Entertainment. Widely credited for creating the celebreality genre of reality programming, 51 Minds has amused and shocked viewers with its enormously popular television series. With such hits as Flavor of Love, Rock of Love, My Fair Brady, Gotti's Way, Real Chance of Love, and For the Love of Ray J, 51 Minds helped catapult VH1 to ratings success and still holds the record for the most watched programs on that channel. In April of 2008, the company was acquired by Endemol USA. Through this partnership, 51 Minds continues to run as a dynamic independent production company and has carried on producing shows that provide the hilarious and ridiculous antics that have earned success for the 51 Minds brand.
"PlayStation" and "PSP" are registered trademarks and "PS3" is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
Visit us on the Web at www.us.playstation.com.
SOURCE Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.