Sony is announcing today that it will launch an original reality TV series on its PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable game devices.
The show is an eight-episode series called The Tester and it is about a bunch of gamers who compete to get a job as a game tester at Sony’s U.S. game division in San Diego, as well as a $5,000 signing bonus. It’s part of Sony’s push to create “original digital” content to make its games consoles more broadly appealing.
The series will air on the PlayStation Network from Feb. 18 to April 8. The show will feature a prestigious panel of judges, including comedian Hal Sparks and video game designer David Jaffe (of God of War and Twisted Metal fame). It is being produced in partnership with 51 Minds, the company behind reality TV shows Rock of Love and The Surreal Life.
The original programming is part of a growing catalog of entertainment offerings on the PlayStation Network. The PSN has more than 19,000 movies and TV shows, digital comics, games, and add-on game content available via broadband delivery to a PS 3 or PlayStation Portable handheld.
In the show, 11 contestants will compete for the job by performing real-life events such as playing paintball, shooting giant slingshots, and becoming “human hamster balls.” Cast members range in age from 22 to 36 years old; the contestants include a student, a paramedic, and a used car salesman. The host of the show is Meredith Molinari, a model and host of multiple online music shows. Besides Jaffe and Sparks, judges include Brent Gocke, a manager of game testers at Sony; John Hight, director of product development for God of War; and Petro Piaseckyj, managing producer for international software at Sony.
Online, viewers can watch the show episodes inside the virtual theater of Sony’s Home virtual world on the PlayStation 3.
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