PS3 News: Sources: Sony Redesigning Network Appearance And Functionality - PS3 News

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Sources: Sony Redesigning Network Appearance And Functionality

The last time Sony overhauled the cosmetic appeal of the PlayStation Network, the result was definitely slicker and more refined.

Sony is currently working on a PSN redesign that should prove refreshing for long-time users. Apparently, that deep blue color will disappear and it'll be replaced by a solid black background with the benefit of brighter colors. We also hear the new PSN will boast a "cleaner look," as sources describe the upgrade as "an aesthetic layout with logically marked sections and rolodex lists." Searching will receive a functional upgrade as well, and the Video section will be a database that won't be unfamiliar to those used to the movie website, IMDB. By the way, as another small piece of news, it appears the PSN will finally return to full functionality in Japan as of Wednesday (today, basically). It has been an extra long wait for them, unfortunately.

Well, it's always nice to keep things fresh, right?

Tags: psn, playstation network, sony

7/5/2011 8:38:30 PM John Shepard

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Comments (60 posts)

Killa Tequilla
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 @ 9:20:05 PM
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Hmmmm interesting, interesting indeed.

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Dridion
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 @ 9:20:25 PM
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I wish they'd do a re-design of the damn XMB. It's starting to get very stale. New features would be soo nice too.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 @ 10:19:24 PM

What's wrong with it?

Agree with this comment 19 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 @ 10:32:05 PM

I like it and find it very user friendly.

Edit: I'm all ears for an upgrade though, if you have any thoughts I've overlooked! :)

Last edited by Underdog15 on 7/5/2011 10:32:33 PM

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Jawknee
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 @ 11:07:38 PM

There is nothing wrong with it.

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godsman
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 @ 11:46:09 PM

I think the XMB is fine, but the new contents and functions are piling up. Even the settings divide into 20 lists and another 10 sublist each.

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 @ 11:55:30 PM

Hmm seems like the xmb is great to me... I've never even thought about them changing it up.

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 12:29:33 AM

I think the XMB is one of the easiest and most elegant user interfaces I've ever seen on a Consumer entertainment unit of any kind.

Agree with this comment 16 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

shadowscorpio
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 12:44:30 AM

@ Dridion

You know, installing themes do help with that.

Agree with this comment 7 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 12:49:29 AM

The old adage "If it ain't broke don't fix it." Would seem to apply with XMB. Perhaps you could add some more categorization of content on the PS3 itself. But the way I read the article, it seemed to be talking more about PS Store and that element of PSN rather than the appearance of XMB, especially as we can install themes to alter the appearance of the XMB.

BTW, I hope folks remember that the XMB is actually an award winning user interface - it's design excellence has been recognized several times.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 2:36:15 AM

Yup, I remember that Highlander. XMB is great.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 4:32:41 AM

Oh there's definitely room for improvement. Not that a complete redesign of the entire thing is needed, but I find the interface to be unsuited to handle large amounts of *anything*: messages, installs, savegame files, psn games, everything is just one flat mile long list.
Also, when these lists become long the interface gets unresponsive with a notable pause from you open something until it's displayed. Looks like it needs to index and format the entire list before anything is displayed.

XMB looks nice when it's a fresh install, gets cluttered and hard to handle pretty soon afterwards.


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/6/2011 4:37:14 AM

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Dridion
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 6:11:43 AM

Oh, I absolutely agree with everyone! I mean you don't need any other example than to look at MS' "new" dashboard coming out soon. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Guess I should have worded it differently. Themes do help, but with anything, there is ALWAYS room for improvement. I think Beamboom got what I was trying to say and his suggestion is very on point. Things load up way to slow to even be considered efficient anymore.

I don't want a completely different GUI. When I wrote "redesign the XMB" statement, I should have said something along the lines of efficiency and cleanness. I just want things to be organized better. ATM it's IS very cluttered.

Some features truly do get lost...at least for the people who don't keep up with their updates and what features get added. For instance, a comprehensive list of supported video formats would be great. I know they have them online, but I think this list should be somewhere on the XMB.

Organization is key and I don't really like swimming through text to find ONE thing. It's just the small things really. Thanks for your comments guys. I was just wondering what everyone though XD.

Last edited by Dridion on 7/6/2011 6:18:34 AM

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Clamedeus
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 6:18:47 AM


I also like the XMB, it's easy to use and it's straight forward to the point of what you are looking for.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 7:03:47 AM

@Beamboom
I feel that way with game data, but I can't say I ever go through it either.

In terms of installs like movies, music, or games, if you highlight something, hit triangle, and go to "information", you can basically assign it to a folder.

I've got about 70 installed games on my PS3 (mostly thanks to PS+), and I've got them into 6 or 7 neat folders. For example, there's RPG's, Action/Adventure, Platformers, Puzzle, etc.

So my XMB under games, has a couple folders that contain games under it's specific genre! :)

I can do the same with music and movies. I like having that customization to organize them how I see fit! :)

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 8:04:33 AM

Underdog,
I know about the preset groupings of music files, that's a very easy and good feature, I wish that logic were used all over.

To manually create "albums" for the games and then move each of them into their wanted group is however waaay to cumbersome and has written "cheap hack" all over it. It's a solution, it's just not a *good* solution.

But much worse yet is the savegame files: Some games have a huge stock of files assosciated to them. And some of those files may, believe it or not, become quite large! And if that wasn't enough, they may even be scattered all over the file listing.
So in order to make as much room available as possible on my disk I'd love to have all files related to the same game gathered in a separate sub directory.
To be honest this is such an obvious, basic way to display objects of all sorts that I don't understand how they could *not* do so when creating this interface.



Last edited by Beamboom on 7/6/2011 8:07:47 AM

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 8:24:03 AM

Forget what I said about the save files - it's apparently been fixed at some stage, cause now they indeed *are* gathered in subdirectories. It did not use to be that way!

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 9:22:02 AM

Boomy (BeamBoom), Sony has been adding little things like that to XMB gradually over the years. To me those things are not really changing the XMB, though they definitely improve it in areas like the ability to better categorize things you have.

I think the next logical step is to give the user additional ways to sort and group items within large XMB categories such as game save data, PSN, PSP, Minis, PS3 or PS1 Classic games. The biggest issue I have with any of it (other than the friends list, but that's been an ever present issue) is when storing music or photos. You can very quickly amass a large number of both, I feel that the tools there are not quire up to the job - yet. But like the game saves that you noted, things have been gradually getting better.

The friends list is one area that I feel needs a real kick in the pants.They need to separate all the message, text and chat stuff into a communications item, and then put the friends into a separate category, and sub divide that allowing you to group and filter your friends by their status, their trophy level, how long since they last logged on, alphabetically, when you 'friended' them. All of that kind of stuff. Basically, the XMB overall needs no real change, but at the lowest level of item, there needs to be more comprehensive sorting, grouping and filtering capability.

I don't see any of that that as changing the XMB, it's really below the overall design level and more in the detail of the implementation.

Last edited by Highlander on 7/6/2011 9:22:30 AM

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 10:13:21 AM

Yes exactly Highlander, that's what I mean.
They don't need to change the "look'n'feel" of it, but really, all XMB is today behind the visual wrapping is a simple, flat structured menu linked to some very lightweight apps. That's to simplify it a bit but still quite a precise description.

I'd love to see a bit more juice behind the graphical shell.


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/6/2011 10:17:38 AM

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Bloodedge
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 @ 9:31:05 PM
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Is it too much to hope one of these changes for PSN is cross-game chat? Only feature missing missing from PSN really. I've never felt like it was needed, but I think its a hassle making text messages without a keyboard. I just want an easier way to communicate with my PSN buddies is all. And plus, when I'm playing a game online, I don't have time to message back right away, but with CGC, It wouldn't be a problem at all, and I'd rather talk with friends than most of the players who play shooters all the time.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 @ 10:21:11 PM

I've gotten so used to sending texts by surfing the letters with the DS3 that it's actually faster for me to do that than get up and grab my keyboard and sit back down and type it out. I'm not proud of that, but there it is.

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 12:32:41 AM

If they include that feature, it won't be as part of a cosmetic overhaul.

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Qubex
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 3:54:42 AM

"I've gotten so used to sending texts by surfing the letters with the DS3 that it's actually faster for me to do that than get up and grab my keyboard and sit back down and type it out."

...so true World!

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 8:11:53 AM

i've given up on cross game chat this gen for the ps3, it's easily the most requested feature that people ask for on ps blog with over 3 million requests...what's really odd is the vita will have this feature but sony's flagship console won't.

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 9:27:14 AM

Excelsior,

The Vita can have it because it's implemented in the firmware from the start. Adding Cross game chat into the PS3 firmware would require adding a reasonably large resident OS module that must stay in memory without causing the resident portion of the OS to use any more memory than it already does. Sony has clawed back a tremendous amount of memory from the OS for games to use, and finding space for such a major module would be extremely difficult, in fact I think that to do it, they'd be forced to ditch other resident functionality. When the PS3 OS was re-engineered to allow in-game XMB access, Sony did a *ton* of work to make the resident portion of the OS as small as possible. Adding cross game chat would reverse about two years of work to reduce the size of the memory resident OS.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 @ 9:56:27 PM
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I like the store as is. I hope they don't change it too much. One addition I would like them to ad is giving us the ability to organize our download list to make searching for your most wanted purchases instead of having to sift through all 500+ items(in my case) to find the ones you want to redownload.

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Qubex
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 3:55:29 AM

Yup, the store seems fine with me... I guess Sony need to waste more money and people need to remain employable!

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 8:13:11 AM

The story seems fine? Don't change it too much?
Wow... Have you guys tried other comparable stores? Like the Android (google) store? iPhone store? Amazon app-store? Or even the software browser in Ubuntu Linux?

I promise you, the ps-store could have been a *lot* better.

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 9:31:33 AM

The Store does need a change. There is so much content there now that the interface feels clunky and over simple, it's very primitive compared to other online retail experiences. I find it's now got to the point were it actually prevents a purchase because it's so darned hard to find stuff I think I want.

That said, the try before you by Full game trials on PSN are a genius idea. I've bought three games now thanks to that.

Oh, BTW if *anyone* hasn't got Burnout Paradise yet, you can buy the complete bundle as a PSN download for $7.99 right now in the US store.

$7.99 for Burnout Paradise? Are you freaking kidding me? I saw the price last night and thought it had to be a mistake. By all means double check before purchase, I was very tired when I saw it, but for the complete Burnout paradise bundle that's an unbeatable price. In fact, I may get it myself, so that I have the game on the HDD.

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Clamedeus
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 10:07:44 AM

You are correct Highlander, It's 7.99 right now.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 10:24:11 AM

WHAT??? The entire Burnout Paradise for 7.99??? Geeez guys if you haven't got it already, GO GET IT!

It's *the* multiplayer game so far I've spent most time playing. The multi coop challenges are like nothing else out there, and the community is GREAT (at least was when I played it). Buy it!

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Fane1024
Thursday, July 07, 2011 @ 7:15:24 AM

The $7.99 bundle only includes the game and the "unlock all" DLC, not (I'm pretty sure) Big Surf Island, etc.

It's an absolute must-buy nonetheless.

p.s. I just bought Cops & Robbers, so I will be playing BP again soon, if I can pry myself away from inFAMOUS.



Last edited by Fane1024 on 7/7/2011 7:17:54 AM

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TheCanadianGuy
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 @ 10:11:05 PM
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i'm actually kind'a glad. i feel it was starting to get dull. i wish they would bring back the start up chime. remember when you put a game on & the little tune with playstation 3 logo. i loved that.

Last edited by TheCanadianGuy on 7/5/2011 10:14:12 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 @ 10:24:17 PM
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I'm happy about that, I find it a visually noisy mess that's hard or slow to find things in.

Go Japan! Sayword and I recently had an unusually protracted discussion over PSN about Japanese women. That was funny.

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godsman
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 @ 11:44:36 PM
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I think they are trying to clean it up a bit with the launch of PS Vita. I really hope it's nothing like the PS Vita home screen with those round icons. THey look super ugly.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 12:13:43 AM

Agreed. I would much prefer a redesigned XMB.

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 12:30:17 AM

I think we'll see some cosmetic differences between the Vita screens we've seen and how they look in production.

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shadowscorpio
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 12:48:04 AM
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Sounds good to me. Sony's keeps things interesting.

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StangMan80
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 12:48:50 AM
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THE XMB IS FINE! (too you who think other wise)

This sounds awesome. I'm looking forward to it. It will be a lot better, PSN can use it. It's fine how it is, but there is always room for improvements. Always.

The Xbox live is getting a face lift too.

Off toppic;
I wounder if the 360 will stop production in 2013... We all know the PS3 will be produced in 2020. 6 years after the PS4 launch.

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 12:50:27 AM

MS are still sticking to their 10 year life comment, that would mean continuing production through 2015...

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StangMan80
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 6:20:11 AM

I don't see the 360 selling good enough even next year for them to keep production going much longer. I see once the new Xbox has arrived the 360 is Dead.

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 9:33:26 AM

I agree, I don't see MS manufacturing the 360 beyond the introduction of a new model. That's not the MS way.

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Vivi_Gamer
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 2:59:19 AM
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I hope they keep the XMB the same, as it wil make all the themes I have made obsolete. and I love my themes on my PS3.

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___________
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 3:50:17 AM
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i seriously doubt this will be happening, i mean if it was they would of at least mentioned something when it came back.
XMB definitely does need a redesign, its just so drab and dreary.
i wish we could have a interface like what the wii has, little TV screens acting as each of the menus.

on another related matter, screen shots of the resistance 3 ps3 bundles have been leaked and a little PSN pass is seen on the box.
storys say its the same to what EA and others have been doing, having a one time use code to access MP.
WTF would they do this after the PSN downtime?
sigh, looks like sony has still learned nothing!
when will the money grubbing end?
today you have to pay to play part of a game YOU PAID FOR!
next you will have to pay before you can even turn the console on that YOU PAID FOR!
oh you want to open the tray?
that will be 59 cents.
oh you now want to close it?
that will be another 59 cents?
oh you want to start the game now?
that will be another 5 bucks.
god, when will the greediness end!?

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Looking Glass
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 8:30:52 AM

Yes, you now have to pay to play part of a game you paid for. It's called DLC. And it's emergence is not Sony's fault. These kinds of things from what I understand are largely an incident of current generation gaming technology.

And this kind of thing with passes isn't of Sony's design. It's an emerging trend that a lot of developers are starting to follow to keep from losing profits to the used game market. And only people who buy used will have to pay. The same is not true for people who buy new.

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___________
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 9:27:54 AM

thats not always true sometimes things are made AFTER the games released not while.
just because crapcom do it, does not mean all the DLC is content cut from the game.

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 9:49:25 AM

An online pass for Resistance 3? Why are you even surprised? Why are you even shocked? You don't appear to have a single clue about why game publishers are doing the online passes, and it has zero to do with Sony or PSN or the PS3 or PSN economics.

The whole point of the online pass is very simple. If we have two gamers, John and James. John is one of those guys that buys his games new, right when they launch and he loves to play online. So he goes and get's Slapdown3 and plays it into the ground for a month, then as he find a newer game is commanding his attention, he decides to trade in the game. John paid for the game, which included an online pass code. He established himself as an online customer of the publisher of the game, for that game. The purchase price of the new game includes provision for the network and game server resources that the publisher has to maintain for John to play his purchase online.

Now, along comes James and pops into his local GameStop and buys that copy of Slapdown 3 that John traded for $5 off the new price (logical as ever). He get's home and realizes to his horror that the game has an online passcode, and it's already been used! Oh no!

James' problem is that he doesn't have a customer relationship with the publisher of Slapdown3 for his playing of the game online. James paid GameStop $55 for the game, but as far as the game publisher knows, that copy of the game belongs to John, and John paid them for his access, no one else's. The publisher provides network and server resources and James hasn't paid anything for that, so he has no access. So James heads online and finds he can buy the online pass for $10. Having already paid for the game - which he can use in single player - James decides he has no choice since GameStop won't give him his $55 back, to buy the online pass for $10.

That used game at $55 from GameStop is suddenly not so much of a bargain. James would have been better off buying the game new on Amazon for $56 and waiting for delivery. The effect of that is that Gamestop has to reduce the price of the traded game to compensate for the cost of the online pass. It's not the publisher's fault that GameStop are gouging used game purchasers. the publisher has costs associated with each online use of their game that have to be covered. Each online player is a customer of theirs, and with the online pass, each online player pays the publisher for their software.

If GameStop continue selling such games at $5 off the retail price then players need to put pressure on GameStop to reduce the price and/or throw in an online pass with used games. It's only fair to the publisher and developer to pay them for the use of their game online. It's not anti-consumer at all. the trouble is that it's apparently easier to whine about the online pass than it is to protest about Gamestop gouging used game buyers. Online Passes should reduce the price of used games for everyone, whether you use the game online or not. If used game retailers continue their old pricing practice and do not bundle an online pass, is it really the publisher's fault if gamers are stupid enough to buy the used games without the online pass at that price?

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 10:20:46 AM

Gamestops second hand prices are *outrageous*, no less.

What puzzles me is that at least here in Norway noone - not a single retailer! - has entered the market with better prices on used games. Why not??? I don't understand that.

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Looking Glass
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:12:23 AM

@ No-name

It doesn't matter when the content gets made. It's still part of the game that you have to pay extra for. Some people are opposed to the very idea of DLC for this reason.

Last edited by Looking Glass on 7/6/2011 11:12:39 AM

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Fane1024
Thursday, July 07, 2011 @ 7:28:35 AM

@ High

Devil's advocate mode: but didn't John already cover the costs for servers, etc. with his $60? If he kept the game, that's all the money the publisher would get...and it's not like John is still using "bandwidth". I see that "relationship" as transferable.

It's different from piracy because the capacity to play the game is still one person (more accurately, one console) per new copy sold.

These $10 fees are clearly (and justly) intended to coax James into buying a new copy; the publishers don't ever really want to collect them.



Last edited by Fane1024 on 7/7/2011 7:34:16 AM

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___________
Thursday, July 07, 2011 @ 9:02:14 AM

thank you for pointing out the obvious!
though, james bought the game should that not be enough?
they have already been paid for that game to be accessing there system, so why should they be getting paid twice for one person accessing the system?
its like i go buy a brand new car from a dealership, then 10 people buy it used from me.
should they have to pay for the dealership services they did to the car?
there still there on the car, there using it, so by that logic they should pay for it.

in that logic then i should be paying less for games because i never play them online so im only using 50% of what i pay for.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 4:45:42 AM
Reply

Redesigning the store is much needed, I'm just worried this redesign is mostly just estetics. The visual presentation is the least problem here, although it looks like some old, tired web page.

The search function sucks - it needs more than an upgrade, it needs a complete overhaul.
To browse for any given title suck too (I've lost count of how many times I've failed to find a game under it's first letter in the alphabet listings) and the info about the different games just plain *suck*, to buy a game is like entering a shop blindfolded and pick your products.
Every game should have multiple screen shots, a video clip and user comments/reviews as a bare minimum.

Not to mention the download history / basket. Am I the only one who's got a MILLION titles on that list, making it close to impossible to find anything, should I want a reinstall of something?


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/6/2011 4:50:06 AM

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Fane1024
Thursday, July 07, 2011 @ 7:39:45 AM

It could be worse: it could be like the in-Home store.

Try searching or browsing through the dozens of parallel, slow-loading lists of items in Home and the PSN store will seem like the greatest interface ever.

:D

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Robochic
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 6:58:44 AM
Reply

Well i'm interested to see what they have up their sleeves. I like the XMB but if they want to redesign some things to keep it fresh i am all for that.

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 9:11:33 AM
Reply

As long as Sony doesn't take the NXE off the 360, I am fine with whatever they do.

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nath08
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 11:56:32 AM
Reply

Party Chat. Party Chat Party Chat! Sadly I doubt it

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 4:35:17 PM
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Maybe redesign or upgrade that browser?

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Simcoe
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 7:26:07 PM

Totally agree! Latest flash player for the browser too!

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Fane1024
Thursday, July 07, 2011 @ 7:43:30 AM

Just squash the bugs.

I can live with a less-than-awesome browser, if it would just do what it's supposed to do.

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booze925
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 @ 5:22:59 PM
Reply

uhh sony. cross game chat and a new web browser?
any day now :P

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