Sony quietly tests PlayStation Network revamp
Sony is developing a PlayStation Network design upgrade that could transform the online environment into a more image-driven layout along the lines of Xbox Live and Steam, Reg Hardware has learned.
Many PSN users say the current PSN is far too text heavy, so Sony is now market-testing a new design that de-clutters the screen using what sources familiar with the new look call "an aesthetic layout with logically marked sections and rolodex lists".
The revamped PSN also packs a new, live search method with results appearing as users enter characters rather than head off to a separate text-entry page.
All change? PSN as it appears today
The movies section has been rebuilt as an IMDB-style database. When you select a film, for example, key details appear on the right of the screen, such as leading actors. Clicking through will take you to the actor's page, where you can see all of their movies.
The same exploration approach is taken with games, categorised by genre, publisher, developer and so on.
Sony is readying a 'deals of the week' section too, making it easier to pick up bargains.
It also appears the company is planning to throw out the blue colour of the current skin and opted for ultra bright colours on a black background.
In revamping PSN, Sony may be hoping to claw back customer trust lost during the hacking fiasco, which saw unhappy gamers impatiently trade PS3s for Xbox 360s.
Perhaps Sony is eager to perfect its online store in preparation of the PlayStation 4 or 3.5, rumoured yesterday to be entering production by the end of the year. ®
Desires as a long time user
1. Force developers to have game previews. There are tons of games on the PSN that you cannot see before purchase, in any form. No screens, no vids, just a (very) short bit of text, the Sony licencing blah-blah, and a buy button. Get stuffed.
2. Reduce the size of the half-screen featured game window and increase the size of the search results list. Add some more detail to it.
3. Get rid of the fecking wallet. It is so completely pointless it makes me angry. Sony are nice enough to list their games in actual money, rather than con-artist bullpoints like MS and Nintendo, but then they introduce this bloody thing. Buy anything over £5 and the store lets you add exactly the price of whatever it is you're buying anyway, so what's the point of the chuffing wallet??
4. Make it blindingly obvious which games are full games, which are demos, which are expansions, etc, without having to click in and wait for a separate page to load. In fact, group all the entries for a game or series together. I know you do it for some, so do it for all of them!
5. Make it blindingly obvious which games, expansions and sets I already own.
6. Find out where the latest expansion for Super Stardust HD has disappeared to so I can buy it.
I'd rather they had a better process for handling username disputes
Any shite-stirring bugger can report you to sony and get you barred, and getting stuff back that you actually paid for is a nightmare.
And what exactly is wrong with P3n1sVanLesb1an anyway?
Make it blindingly obvious which games, expansions and sets I already own. And provide a quick link on the main page which shows any new DLC for games I already own. You know what I've got, because of the Trophies and my purchase history, so make it easy for me to find that new expansion.
Having both an xbox and ps3
I prefer the xbox UI period although I use my ps3 more atm.
The ps3 is just slow on the psn, clunky, difficult to find / see things clearly and just a mess. The main UI is a pain in the arse as well. Try changing your background picture then you can no longer see the text menus is one of the annoyances. It needs a complete overhaul.
On the other hand, the xbox UI is excellent, with easy to find items, demos etc and a seamless experience not normally common to MS I might add.
I am surprised no-one has brought out an Android based UI For a games console - how cool would that be?
"text heavy" isn't a complaint I have
"incredibly slow" is though. PSN Store usually feels like I'm living in the bad old days of dial-up.