I admit that I’m fairly new to the online gaming world; my PlayStation 3 wasn’t connected to the internet until four years after I bought it. As a result, I had no prior expectations of what an online videogame store should be like. Sure, I puttered around Amazon looking for cheap Lufia 2 cartridges, but I was still relatively naive when it came to online design.
Then I finally connected to the PlayStation Network for the first time and brought up the PlayStation Store. It was fairly intuitive, and it did its job, so I was happy enough. A year later, I wake up from a late night and go to play some Jumping Flash, only to be prompted by an update. Groggy, I just spammed the confirm button until it was all taken care of.
My next foray into Sony’s digital storefront was one of woe and confusion. That one update, which rolled out back in November of last year, completely changed the layout for a more modern looking store and in turn, completely borked the experience.
To start, the entire store suffers from lag. I’m not even playing a game, and I have to wait for things just to load. As a result, the transition animations are choppy,and I find myself selecting things I didn’t mean to because I was furiously hitting the X button in order to get through things quicker. A terrible mistake.
Then there’s the overall aesthetic itself. Honestly, it’s ugly. I expected a much sleeker execution of menu, something innovative and engaging. Instead I get a boring drop down list of categories on the left side while a jumble of game and movie advertisements litter the right side sans any cohesive order.
The categories aren’t even well organized. Multiple redundant categories in the shape of “hot deals” make it confusing for me to navigate the store itself. And when I went to classics, I couldn’t even separate my PS1 and PS2 classics at first. Only a great deal of finagling with the filter options makes browsing any easier.
The whole experience was a disappointing one. I was promised an update. I was given a downgrade where even just opening the store is a chore. I sincerely hope they come up with something better soon, because there’s only so long I can spend trying to buy new games.
Although, I do have the option to (finally) access the store on my computer, so I suppose there’s some good news there.