The Perfect PlayStation Store

Article: How can Sony better 360's Marketplace?

Having one central place where gamers go to download content is still a relatively young concept on consoles.

Xbox Live Marketplace started it all and, having been around since 2005, has had plenty of time to mature. It's well organised, intuitive and has a wide range of content. And MS' major Dashboard update improved the system even further.

Sony's PlayStation Store has some catching up to do. By 'catching up' we mean how the whole PS Store works; it's structure, updates and all. This isn't about the lack of content against other consoles, by the way. We clear on that?

Overhauled tab system
At the moment the PS Store has four main tabs that separates all of its content - Latest, Games, Demos and Video. This, put simply, is not enough. It needs more.

Less is more but there's nothing complicated about adding a few more tabs to better separate and define the different content categories.

The 'Games' tab is too general. PSone games should have their own tab. PSone games for £3.49 is and incredible feature - it deserves its own tab. The Games tab should only contain the new games released on PSN.

We think add-ons or download content for games should have its own tab, and all the content arranged by game title.

Streamlined list browsing
At the moment there's (unfortunately) not a great deal of content on the PS Store, which means that locating specific items isn't too difficult. But this will become more of a trawl when content mounts up.

All of those big icons look nice, but when we're eventually scrolling through dozens of PSone titles or download packs considering a purchase, a faster more practical list would be better.

Demos for all new games
No-one likes to buy a game blindly anymore. It's always good to know something about a game before you shed out the cash.

The great thing about Xbox Live Arcade is that every game on the service can be played in demo form as standard, so you always know what you're getting. On PSN, demos are intermittent, so if a game turns up that you know nothing about, you're forced to look it up elsewhere (hopefully here - Ed).

Sony should enforce a policy of a demo to be prepared for every new game that goes onto the PSN, so you're never left to make blind purchases.

Better PSone game profiles
We all know what Metal Gear Solid, WipEout, or Crash Bandicoot is, right? But what about when a game like, for example, Kula World appears on PSN. It's a great game but some might not have heard of it.

Two or three screenshots would be ideal - a selection of good screens will pretty much tell you everything you need to know. But we need better info pages, with a brief of the game's genre, number of players, plot and general gameplay description. Maybe a link to a web page with more info would be nice.

PSN Content update lists via info board
You can always rely on CVG to keep you posted with all the latest content that's uploaded to the PSN Store. But your PS3 should to that for you, too.

When you log onto the PS Store you're greeted by the tab with all the latest content, but it's not always comprehensive. Sony added the Info Board feature in the 2.0 firmware update, but it's proved largely useless so far.

Why doesn't Sony use it as a ticker that feeds every PS3 user a list of new content the moment it goes live?

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