PlayStation Network launched with the PS3 and 4 years later, hasn’t changed much. What can Sony do to improve its service?
I recently picked up a PS3 after only owning the Xbox 360, and the differences between their online gaming experience could not be any more different. I started out simply downloading a PSone game that I had bought on my PSP and I figured it would be a simple process. Well I was very wrong, it was a 800MB download that lasted almost two hours, and after it was finished downloading, it then proceeded to install the game. I have no idea why it would take that long, I have a great network connection. Don’t even get me started on the firmware updates, its the most frustrating thing in the world when you come home from work after a long day, and face a firmware update that takes hours to download and install.
Not only is PSN have a poor network, it lacks a lot of what I always considered standard features found in Xbox Live. Why can’t I chat with my friend in another game. Why do I keep getting disconnected from game lobbies that I play? I know that its a free service, but Steam is also a free service that gives the users a ton of features and without the problems that Sony faces.
The PSN Store interface isn’t the greatest; in other words, I think it sucks! It simply seems like Sony just created an old website circa 1990. Navigating through the menus is a chore, and the games are organized in alphabetical order so you are expected to just sort through the games. With the Xbox, they have a lot of different categories where you can find pretty much what you are looking for.
PlayStation Plus was supposed to be their answer to Xbox Live, and it does fix a few of the issues, mainly the firmware updates being pushed to your system. It costs the same as Xbox Live BUT it doesn’t resolve a lot of the issues. PlayStation Plus also gives you access to demo’s and gives you some free games a month, but there is a problem with that too. If you ever stop your subscription, you lose access to the “free” games you get.
So what can Sony do? Simply put Sony needs to take all of Microsoft’s good ideas with Xbox Live and implement them into PSN. It already has a tiered service in place, they can now use the money earned to improve the network stability, allow cross game chat, and fix their terrible UI design of their PSN Store. Ultimately if Sony doesn’t get their act together fast, they will fall farther and farther behind. PSN needs work; Sony get to it!
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