You ever have one of those weeks that everything about it just sucked? Last week was that week for me. I had to work late several days, had to go in early several days, and I had to do it all while having the flu. I was feeling so bad and tired that gaming didn't even hold an interest for me. Not my PS3, my PSP, or even the couple of games on my cellphone. It was pure torture. I was finally able to get back into the gaming swing last night. I played the demo for Rocketmen: Axis of Evil and -one of my absolute PSN favorites- Super Stardust HD. I thought Rocketmen was pretty entertaining. Interesting story, easy to control (except that your character moves like molasses, and interesting weapons. I just gotta say, PSN is looking pretty damn good right now.

Over the last few months I've purchased, downloaded, and sampled a lot of stuff from PSN. I've bought several PS1 games (Medievil, Wild Arms, Castlevania), a couple of arcade classics (Gauntlet II, Rampage World Tour), a few PSN exclusives (Everyday Shooter, Fl0w, Calling All Cars, Pixel Junk Monsters, Super Stardust HD), downloaded several demos (Rocketmen: Axis of Evil, Lost Planet, Turok), downloaded quite a few movie trailers (Iron Man, Star Trek, Hancock, 21) and even a few game trailers (Haze: Origins trailer, Little Big Planet). What have I learned from all this activity? Sony really wants PSN to succeed. Has it? Not quite, but it's getting there.

Nobody can take the success that Live has had away from Microsoft. Sure, there have been some snags. That's bound to happen with any online enterprise. I think it's commendable what Live has accomplished. It went from being a place for hardcore gamers to play against each other to a fully functioning community. With features like accomplishments, downloadable games, movies, themes, and other content, Live has become the proverbial 800 pound gorilla. Nothing can stand in its way. Let me rephrase that, nothing has been able to stand in its way. I'm not saying that Live is perfect though, nothing is.

Sony definitely wants to take some of Live's thunder, and in order to do that some mighty big changes are in the works. First up will be the addition of in-game XMB. I don't expect to see the whole XMB in there, but having access to my friends list and some of the setting options would be great. Even better would be the ability to customize what parts of the XMB I want to see in-game. There may be an option or two that I want access to that someone else may not. For me, that would be ideal. Second will be the launch (this year or next) of Home. I think it'll be great to be able to invite your friends over to your pad, check out your trophies, maybe watch a video or play a game. Truly innovative stuff. Lastly is a rumored change to the PSN store itself. Personally, I don't care for the layout or controls for the store. One huge thing that needs to happen also is the integration of the store with the transaction options. It should be a no-brainer to want to make the purchase process as simple as possible. Going through 4 or 5 different menus of options is not easy, neither is having to leave the store to do it. For a handy Penny Arcade visual, check this out.

Hopefully Sony can drive up the interest in PSN and online gaming with the PS3 with these changes. The reason why I want to see PSN do well is the fact that competition drives innovation. Microsoft has been sitting on their laurels for a while, they need something to snap at their heels to bring the next great changes to online gaming. Why? Because if they don't, Sony will, and the gamers will win.

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Comments

1 Response to "PSN On The Move"

  1. mad one On March 18, 2008 at 5:24 PM

    I think the PSN is doing well considering Sony is new to the online thing. It will only get better when Home becomes available.