New PlayStation Store Impressions, Details & Info

On 17th of October, everything will change. We’ll have a brand new look and layout to the PSN store on PS3 which will completely overhaul how it handles in every day use.

Sony have been slaving away on the PSN store in secret for almost the last two years, taking opinions on how to improve the layout from numerous focus groups and gradually developing what effectively amounts to a completely new store. That difference starts right from the very first second, as the PSN store bag is now in a nice and stylish white, there’s a new welcome tone and there’s not a shade of blue in sight.


As the interface loads in over the background, there are just a handful of clear categories on the left hand side, What’s New, Games, Movies and TV. The rest of the screen is dominated by large hero images for featured games as before, taken from the What’s New section. The big difference is that rather than it refreshing seconds before you get to what you want to select, it stays put.

Here you can now scroll further to the right through an extended carousel of content, featuring a much larger selection of recent content for you to get at easily.

[drop]Each page of the carousel plays host to several items with one particular highlight taking over the full background, and some nice parallax effects shifting the content and images as you scroll across.

Scroll to the right or left and the next page peeks out from the side of the screen, and when you get to the end of what’s being highlighted it gives you options to continue browsing through related sections, rather than trapping you down the rabbit hole with a painful return to the top page in the offing.

It’s a system that will appear in many areas of the new layout, for the various highlights sections, from the latest big content to a new section for popular titles. That’s the first time that such a list has appeared on PSN, and means that popular titles will get to stay at the top of the pile that bit longer.

Beyond the major areas a wholly reworked system of content discovery has been implemented, starting off with a long list from such broad categories as All PS3 Games, Shooters and so on.

From here we will now have more granular filter and sorting options, so that you could narrow your browsing to only show PSN games, games that are lower than £10, those which feature online multiplayer, or even listed by user rating.

Alongside this we also have a simplified and much improved Search. Gone is the obstructive on-screen keyboard, which lead to obtuse and dumb search results. We now have a scrollable list of letters to choose from which is much happier with DualShock controller input, and features reductive input. Say you want to search for Journey, start picking letters ‘JOU’, and the search engine starts to remove letters from the list that would no longer apply, making the ‘R’ you need much more prominent and quicker to find.

Although maybe you won’t need to hit the ‘R’ at all. The search results live update after each letter input, with a selection of the most popular and best results for that string of letters at the top, followed by a full list of other content which features that particular letter set. It’s also smart enough to take into account misspelt searches and acronyms for games, such as MW3, ME3, GTA4 and so on.

[drop2]Whichever route you take, once you find the content you’re looking for you’re taken to a game hub for that item.

If it’s add-on content, there’s always going to be a prominent image linking back to the parent title, with further related DLC further down the page. Whatever the title, there’s always a text box which expands to offer more details on request, and where there are images and videos linked to it, these will now be thumbnails that let us quickly drop into full screen images and streaming video.

Not to mention easily accessible game demos and full game trials from these hubs. It draws all of the relevant content into a single, easily navigable space.

One thing that was made clear during the presentation was that this is just the first step in a larger programme of changes. Here Sony wanted to get the core basics to the new design in place, with a whole host of further functionality yet to come over the coming months. Things like adding filters and sorting to the often painfully huge Download List which long term owners still have are on the list of things, much to many peoples’ delight, I’m sure.

This is an update which is to be exclusive to the PS3 for now, and it’s an overhaul that the store has needed for the last couple of years. When the PS3 launched, e-commerce via your TV and console was still a fairly alien concept to many. Now Sony have finally been able to react to the ever shifting digital world, and this looks like it will really get the basics right with plenty more yet to come.



  1. Sounds good, will need to get hands on for a better idea but for now, I’m sure it’ll be fine

  2. Great… the download list filtering is still to come….

  3. Hugely needed, looks nice and usable.

    Great to hear search has been improved, even though the new layout will diminish its use. Being able to sort & filter the download list is also a big deal.

    A very big plus for Sony, although not without its missed opportunity too, a web interface with the ability to remote buy, download & manage your content is a glaring oversight, although I’ve just read the new PS3 store is in HTML5, so hopefully the implementation of a web interface isn’t far off, or at least there’;s now fewer barriers to introducing one, once the rest of the infrastructure is in place.

    Good move Sony, but please, please get to work on the web too – impulse sales alone would make it worth your while and customer convenience will grow loyalty beyond this gen.

    • Yes I agree with this. If could buy games via my pc at work, Sony would have had a lot more money from my wallet.

    • With you on this one, Chris.

      You can’t help but think “thanks, Sony, but …um… how late?”. I’m staggered a Store revamp has taken so long. This should’ve been out two years ago (and refined to buggery & back six months after that). It’s not rocket science. Just good design and development, although I appreciate this’ll have some seriously long-term usage if it scales for PS4 content too.

      Just give us the ability to shop in the Store but from a browser on the PC, for god’s sake! That and filtering in the Downloads list.

  4. All I ask for out of this revamp, is a properly organised download list of my purchase history. Ie. not in the order you bought them in, and only being able to see a few items on screen at once. But the makeover does look nice.

  5. Sounds good, although I hope the Search results don’t bring up utter crap that isn’t even related, since it sometimes deems a Search pointless at the moment. This is far more important than now the Search keyboard operates.

    • Great to hear the Download list filters are coming, thank fuck.

  6. It’s all looking very nice, but I wish it had some colour to it as it’s looking very serious and almost generic (not to mention Microsofty) . It would be cool if it changed colour based on the time of year and season. (some people, like me, are never satisfied…)

    Now let’s just hope it’s faster and won’t be filled with stupid unnecessary folders.

    • The colour will no doubt come from promotional branding of homepage & different areas.

      • Yup. Each page on the carousel has a particular game, movie or whatever which takes over the background, and works with other image elements for a nice parallax effect as you move about.

        Folders are basically gone. You have broader categories with filters to let you pick out what you want. If there’s a very specific thing you’re looking for, then going via the new search engine might be quickest, and all DLC etc. tied to a game will be attached as additional links in the sort of hub.

        It’s a much better system of organisation, browsing and searching.

        Colour can always be added or changed manually, but I actually quite enjoyed the subdued default background (you can see it behind the F1 2012 screenshot).

  7. It sounds like some very basic stuff has been very difficult to implement, so well done to whoever’s been banging the drum. The download list filters would definitely be nice to have, chin up and keep going you poor overworked and underpaid software monkies!

  8. looks nice and shiny and all that, remains to be seen how it is in everyday, or everyweek at least, use.

    does it come with a fix for the download list though?
    that’s a big issue for me, and probably any long term ps3 owner.
    a simple chronological list may have been fine in the early months, but i’ve probably got thousands of items on my download list after so many years.

    • am i being too cynical in fearing the store getting covered in ads in the near future? o_O

      • It was already covered in ads.

        I don’t mind so long as they stick to game ads.

      • No download list sorting on day one.It’s on the to-do list, though, as I made sure to ask after it for this post.

  9. Looks good, but as other TSAers already pointed out, we should be able to buy on a pc (and remotely sync with our PS3, so it would download something like the massive Max Payne whyle I’m at work) and to filter our download list. Still, I guess that if I’m looking to re-download something I’ve bought I can keep doing what I’ve done so far: search for the game itself from the main area.

  10. But is it faster?

    It’s painfully slow to load up on my PS3…

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