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PlayStation (Games) Sony Games

Improving the PlayStation Store 107

This opinion piece takes stock of Sony's PlayStation Store, examining its flaws and the areas Sony needs to improve as their gaming systems come to rely upon it more and more. The problems and suggested solutions involve everything from UI elements to demo availability to pricing inconsistencies. "Some people may say that the Microsoft Points scheme is a little confusing, but it is consistent. If a game is 800MSP in the US, it's 800MSP everywhere else. What a MSP is worth is up to the store, but for the most part they're close. The PlayStation Store on the other hand can be all over the place. While most games in North America keep to the same price point — such as $9.99 or $14.99, converting that over to Europe is another thing entirely. For example, Flower came out earlier this year for $9.99USD. In Australia a $10USD game gets converted to $12.95AUD. Or does it? Bomberman Ultra just came out, and it's $15.95AUD. Heavy Weapon gets released for $12.95AUD, while Capcom’s previous efforts, like Commando 3, convert to $15.95. The same thing also happens for more expensive titles. Both Battlefield 1943 and Fat Princess were released for $14.99 in the US, but in Australia they're priced at $19.95AUD and $23.95 respectively."
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Improving the PlayStation Store

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  • by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <> on Thursday October 15, 2009 @06:34AM (#29754951) Journal

    This non-consistent pricing is not only in PlayStation Store - Steam prices also change heavily based on location. It's even worse with Steam, because the prices used to be same everywhere but they changed it in 2009 (nicely hidden as "local currencies come to steam!")

    I haven't personally been able to buy anything from Store because for some reason any of my credit cards don't work with it, even though they work everywhere else. Apparently they finally got the cards to stores here now (it took them what, 2-3 years?), but I haven't bothered to go get any yet.

  • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @06:49AM (#29755023) Journal
    Ill take inconsistent pricing over arbitrary 'points' any day.
  • by ShadowRangerRIT ( 1301549 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @08:06AM (#29755419)
    But you aren't paying a different price for two games priced identically in the States. So a game that costs $X in the States will cost kX in another country (where k is the constantmultiplier MS applies to the cost of points). On the PS3, the cost in another country isn't predictable based on the price in the U.S. Like they said, two games that cost $10 in the states can cost two wildly different prices elsewhere.
  • Horrible interface (Score:3, Insightful)

    by biscuitlover ( 1306893 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @08:32AM (#29755605)

    I've got to say the interface leaves a lot to be desired... it's quite flashy but not at all intuitive. I'd like something more table-based, where you can see the price, release date, genre etc. of lots of different games all at once. Instead, you often have to calculate where the content you want lives and hunt it down using the right combination of categories and button presses. Yeah, I know there is a search feature, but the browsing experience isn't great and is only going to get worse as more games are added.

    If you think this is bad though, try Vidzone - the PS3 music video player you can download for free. It is slow, clunky and so horrible to use that I uninstalled it minutes after first using it. Worst interface I've ever seen, possibly apart from the Sonicstage NetMD software from 10 years ago or so (also by Sony). I think the company desperately needs to hire some usability experts...

  • by tgibbs ( 83782 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @10:32AM (#29757131)

    The Playstation store is the one area where the PS3 falls far short of the XBox 360, but the article misses the major issues. When I look for things in the PS3 store, it is just a jumble, and there is no really useful sorting. I often end up downloading a game for XBox 360 that I might have downloaded for PS3 if the store were not so disorganized. For example, on the XBox360, all games available online have demos, and the full game can be purchased from the demo. On the PS3 demos are separate things, and there is no differentiation between demos for disk games and demos for online available games. What the PS3 store really needs is:

    A way to sort games into categories.
    -Demos of PS3 games available on disks (subsorted by name, release date, genre, or popularity)
    -Demos of *all* PS3 games available online with option to buy full game (subsorted by name, release date, genre, or popularity)
    -PSP games (subsorted by name, release date, genre, or popularity)

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford