Sony has launched Play Community, a web-based social network for Japanese PlayStation Network users. The new site appears to have replaced the previous official PlayStation community sites in Japan, but with an additional social layer that allows users to create profiles and interact. In a post on the site, SCEJ's president Hiroshi Kawano says that he hopes game creators will join the community and use it to increase communication.

Unfortunately PSN is currently undergoing scheduled maintenance, meaning that we can't get much of a look at the service in detail right now. It's unclear to what extent, if at all, the site will work on other devices — it appears to be mostly separate from the existing PSN, with its own messaging and group features.

In any case, the site itself looks to be stylistically pretty similar to Japanese social network titan Mixi, with a simple, predominantly white design and the standard array of communication tools along the top. As you'd expect, though, Sony has added some gaming-specific twists — for example, the site integrates with your existing PSN friends list, and the Player Recruitment section could come in handy when searching for further multiplayer partners. There's no word yet on whether or not a similar site will make it to the U.S. or Europe in time for the Vita's launch next year, but we'll let you know if we hear anything.