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Is the new PlayStation Store better than Microsoft's Marketplace?

50°
326w ago - There's no doubt that PlayStation 3 owners have been breathing a little easier of late. A price drop and some excellent software - with a lot more on the horizon, including some great exclusives like Metal Gear Solid, Little Big Planet, Killzone 2 and Gran Turismo 5 - have helped even up the scales in the PS3/Xbox360 debate.

But there has been one lingering sore point: the PlayStation Network. Nobody who's used both this and Xbox Live can seriously say that Sony's implementation is superior. Basically, Xbox Live allows Microsoft to do what it does best, which is to build infrastructure. It's also now well into its second iteration and whilst it's not perfect, the overall experience leaves Sony's efforts way behind.

The Store has been a particular pain. Its layout was barely logical and basic navigation tasks were inconsistently handled. The wallet system had some merit, especially if you had several accounts on the one machine, but it was broadly acknowledged that Sony needed to get its online house in order.

Last week, the new PlayStation store rolled out (alongside the latest firmware update, which will finally allow owners of 7.1 surround systems to take advantage of all their speakers) and it's a much-improved experience. It's still a long way from perfect and there...
 

PlayStation Store Update for April 17, 2008

50°
327w ago - Per Grace Chen, Senior Manager, PLAYSTATION Store today:

Hey, everyone. It's time again for the PLAYSTATION Store weekly update.

Downloadable Games:

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue ($39.99)
The best-selling racing franchise returns with the intense precursor to Gran Turismo 5, featuring over 60 cars from worldwide car manufacturers. With an all-new interior dash view, online racing with up to 16 players, Drift mode and more, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue unveils revolutionary advancements that deliver the ultimate racing experience.
ESRB Rated E
File size: 1.78 GB

Add-on Game Content:

Warhawk Broken Mirror Pack ($7.99)
Download the "Operation: Broken Mirror" Booster Pack and increase the effectiveness of your team's ground assaults with the new Armored Personnel Carrier and the Vaporfield Glacier Battlefield!
File size: 131 MB

Warhawk Booster Combo ($11.99)
Booster Combo includes the Warhawk "Operation: Omega Dawn" and "Operation: Broken Mirror" Booster Packs.
File size: 274 MB

Rock Band
Build your Rock Band library by purchasing these song game tracks. For song credits, visit www.RockBand.com.

- "Still Alive" - GLaDOS and Jonathan Coulton (free)
-...
 

New PlayStation Store Impressions!

300°
327w ago - PlayStation Store. Lets face it, it would have been difficult for them to make a crappier looking/functioning store, but I think we all hoped for something fantastic.

I don't know if I would call the new store fantastic, but it is a massive improvement. Navigating the store with the D-Pad is now quite easy, but the biggest improvement in my opinion is the way its actually set out.

There are now categories that are easy to get to, including All Games, Game Add-Ons, Videos, PSP Games, etc.

Unfortunately there seems to be some problems with thumbnail images loading in, but I a sure that'll be fixed.

All in all, its a step in the right direction. Now... how about that in-game XMB? Or perhaps some Home?
 

Has Sony Europe messed things up yet again?!

250°
327w ago - So, we got the new PS Store today... in short, it's lovely. From the little 'plinky' piano sound when it opens, to the nice fading page animations - it's a joy to navigate.

However, while navigating is a joy, Sony Europe have made their usual hash of things - their categorization completely sucks.

On the UK store the main categories are:

Latest
All Games
Game Add-Ons
Videos
PSP Games
Family Games
'other' media (what?!)
We recommend

This is just crazy... so if you're looking for a demo, you need to either go to latest, or if it's not there, look in all games - which are sorted into sub groups by genre, not title. Also, all PSOne games are mixed in with the genres... so if you want a PSone game you need to find it in the melange of other titles... is Sony Europe bonkers?

On the USA store:

New Releases
Downloadable Games
View All by Title
Add-ons
Demos
Videos
Themes and Wallpapers
Featured Items

These categories make perfect sense - you can find the same piece of content multiple ways, and if you go to 'downloadable games' the titles are split by platform (PS3, PSP, PS Eye, PSone Classics) and other sorting (top downloads, genre, alphabetical)......
 

PlayStation Store down most of tomorrow for PS Store update

200°
328w ago - The PLAYSTATION Network will be taken offline for a scheduled maintenance to the network on April 14th between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

As a result there will be no access to the PLAYSTATION Store.

To quote: The PLAYSTATION®Network will be taken offline for a scheduled maintenance to our network during the following times:

Start: April 14, 2008, beginning at 8:00 a.m., Pacific Time
End: April 14, 2008, ending at 11:00 p.m., Pacific Time

During this time, the new PLAYSTATION®Store upgrade will be taking place. As a result access to the PLAYSTATION Network will be restricted, including:

* No access to the PLAYSTATION®Store

For information regarding the changes to the PLAYSTATION Store, please visit the PlayStation.Blog.

It is not anticipated that this will affect other PLAYSTATION Network services

Once the new PLAYSTATION Store upgrade is complete, a new system software version will be available for download. This new system software must be installed before you may access the PLAYSTATION Network.
 
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