PlayStation 3 and why it desperately needs to be fixed

Posted on May 16, 2012

Alright guys, if you want to know why XBox is doing so well and people still constantly make fun of PS3, look no further than their usability problems. I plugged back in my console for the first time in a few months (it’s banned from the internet due to their security flaws) and attempted to buy the game Journey that everyone has been a buzz about. Also, if you didn’t know, as a graduate student with about 5 projects going on, I don’t get to play video games very often, even though I love them.

So, I turn on the console, and I go to find the store thinking that’s where I need to start. And if you didn’t know, the menu system is horribly organized so that takes longer than necessary.

See that button there on the bottom that has no label on it that’s buried in this menu? Yeah, that’s the place you buy games. So you click on that, and you go to the store, and click a button that says PS3 Games, and you get this horribly complex menu.

At this point I’m thinking…. okay, I can’t just find a listing of available games so I’ll search. I click on the little search icon and get…

Which you have to click on to get a text box. Maybe I’m missing something and people can get keyboards for their PS3, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the normal case, so this extra click is completely unnecessary.

Their text input area isn’t the easiest thing to use either, especially when they ask you to put in your email address and @ is buried in the symbols menu. At least they have the prediction on the side, although I don’t know why my name is a prediction for jou…..

At this point I figure I just came out of the text entry area and I should just be able to hit enter to move on just like on my XBox, right? Nope. You have to move your cursor down to the search button, because apparently this set up is created for someone using a mouse and keyboard that I don’t have. And I get….

A bunch of stuff related to the game I want, but not the game I want. Thanks guys. The game is further down the list. Why wouldn’t it be the first thing? It matched what I input best. Also, don’t let the “all” pulldown menu fool you, the only other thing in there is “title” and that doesn’t change the outcome of this search. I tried that. So I scroll down the list and find my game.

Oh, my great search is over! Wait… no…. it’s not (these pictures were taken after I finally figured it all out, so “download” used to say “Buy It”. I go to click on “Buy It”, and it says I need to sign up for the PSN network. It doesn’t take me to where I can sign up or anything, just tells me that I haven’t signed up for the network, so I can’t buy this game. I also can’t put it into my cart so I don’t have to do this all over again.

So I think to myself, I’ll sign up online so I can use my computer and a keyboard. Which would have been a great idea if their website wasn’t down for servicing at 6pm (Pacific) on a Tuesday. So I have to get back out of the place where you buy games and back to this menu.

Where I get to fill out a ton of random information about myself so that they will let me play one game. Including, where I live (they don’t need to know but they won’t let you not fill it out), my first and last name, etc all using the same input I used for searching on their online store.

I got to go back onto the store, go through the same hoops to find the game again, and then give them more information, which actually didn’t purchase the game so I told my boyfriend “I bought the game…. I think.” But I had not. So I had to go back into the store, click the buy it button again, so I could finally get to….

SUCCESS! And then I wasn’t sure I would be able to find the game on my console once I was done. So thanks PSN, the comics that make fun of you for constant updates and difficult use aren’t lying in the least. What took me 30 minutes to do on your console I could have done in 5 on XBox360. Mostly because their menus make sense, they have an alphabetical listing of their games, and when I click buy and I need to sign up for something, that “Buy It” button is connected to the forms I need to fill out in order to purchase the game and filling out those forms actually purchases the game.

This is why you’re in the corner unplugged most of the time while XBox gets new games every month or so.

Alright, off to play Journey. Until next time.