The first thing I wanted to do when I hooked up my PS3 was to try Sony's online store. Let's grab a demo, buy Blast Factor, and see what kind of a threat the PS3 provides to Xbox Live. First, it took a while to get going; I had to download an update, install it, set up an account, read the 50 pages of legalese, and then I was looking at game demos and seeing what I could grab. I decided to get the Motorstorm demo. I liked it at E3, so it should be fun to play at home.
I threw up in my mouth a little when the screen came up… followed by a "cancel" button… and a status bar. Then I realized that was it. No background downloading. I was stuck watching the bar crawl across the screen while I downloaded my demo.
I couldn't do anything else. I couldn't watch a Blu-ray movie, I couldn't play a game, I was stuck. After it was done downloading, it had to install, which took more time. Icky. The last thing I want to do with new hardware is wait for anything, and this process is way too tedious.
Microsoft drew criticism from every single gamer who used their download system before they offered background downloading via a patch. Did Sony not learn from Microsoft's misstep? How long will it be until Sony fixes this?
I'm incredibly annoyed.
The store UI looks and feels like it was designed for a computer. It would have been fine with a mouse and keyboard, but it's annoyingly slow with a controller. You click on something, and you wait, and after a few seconds the system will react. It's very sluggish. It certainly isn't an elegant system, and the text describing each game is tiny and impossible to read. Keep in mind I'm on a 56" HDTV where I've never had an issue seeing anything before.
Sony needs to get this tightened up, and yesterday. Right now shopping and downloading is annoying, slow, and certainly not fun.