While we have all become accustomed to the standard layout of Sony’s PlayStation Network, the idea of a brand new interface would definitely be most welcome with PS3 users if given a choice.
With this in mind, you’ll be pleased to hear fresh reports claiming that Sony are currently testing a brand new redesigned PlayStation Network, one which will bring several changes to the XMB layout that users are currently used to seeing today.
According to RegHardware, we could see a new PlayStation Network interface which is more image-based, rather than the XMB text style that is present at the moment. This image-based PSN could draw similarities from Xbox Live and Valve’s Steam software, containing fewer menus which are presented in a more visually impressive and logical way for the user.
Other changes which are apparently in the works are a new live-search feature, which will bring up results instantly as users input text, similar to the way in which Google’s instant search technology works. Other features include a IMDB-style approach for the new movie section and perhaps more interesting for bargain hunters, a new section which will feature Sony’s ‘deals of the week’ for PS3, PSP and PSN titles.
We’re not sure about you but the idea of an image-based interface would be fantastic as we have to admit that the current interace is a bit tedious, with far too many headings and submenus under each category as you will probably agree. Just a few visual menus would make things a lot more easier to use, and would be ideal for the casual PS3 gamer who just wants to enjoy a simple experience, compared to countless menus that we see at the moment.
In terms of new PS3 features, we’re hoping that Sony are planning to include the features that they are yet to include on current versions of the PS3 firmware. By this we’re talking about cross network chat across ALL PS3 titles, and since we’re not entering the world of social networking, we’d also like to see two main sections for Facebook and Twitter as well, so PS3 users will be able to get easy access to both feeds straight from their PS3 homepage.
There’s no word on when we’ll see these possible changes, but we’re hoping that Sony are planning to introduce it during the holiday period to coincide with the release of the PlayStation Vita, although we’re not sure if it will only be a Japan release this year for the Vita, and a release for US and EU during the early part of 2012.
What are your thoughts on this? If you have a wishlist of new features as part of a redesigned PlayStation Network, let us know some of your best ideas below. Do you like the idea of removing the XMB and its countless sub-menus in favor of an image-based interface?