Posted 11:00am

Introducing your new PlayStation Store

If you have been a regular visitor to the PlayStation Store over the last two years, you will probably have noticed the various changes we have made. During that period we invited many people from the PlayStation community around the world to come and participate in focus groups and one-to-one user-testing sessions in order to help us understand what we were already doing well and, more importantly, where we could improve the PlayStation Store.

Thanks to the invaluable feedback and insight we gained from the community, we were able to make incremental improvements to the old store and, at the same time, develop a set of design principles which would help us create the all-new PlayStation Store that we’re launching later today.

whats new

So, what’s new? Almost everything! We’ve still got all the latest and greatest games and DLC for PlayStation 3, PS Vita and PSP. The biggest changes are to do with how you find the stuff you want. Whether you’re looking for the latest AAA release or a PSOne Classic, it’s now so much quicker and easier.

When you launch the new store from the XMB, the first thing you’ll see is the What’s New section which is, essentially, the store’s homepage. What you’ll find here is a mixture of the latest content to hit PlayStation Store that week.

Whats new - hero

The old store’s homepage was made up of a ‘mosaic’ of product images (or banners) which meant visitors to the store could see at a glance what was new or on offer. We wanted to keep this mosaic idea intact with the new store but really focus on making browsing through the great new content we have every week much more fun and visually immersive.

You told us that you wanted the PlayStation Store to be a much more HD experience and much more like the great PS3 games we all play and love. So, what we’ve tried to do is create a design where the products really are the stars of the store.

When you scroll through the What’s New ‘carousel’ (or any of our new ‘feature categories’ – more on these later), you’ll see what we call a ‘Hero’ on every page. As well as the Heroes, we’ve continued to use the mosaic idea, which you told us you liked, to display the rest of the content on the page. With the average TV screen being much larger and sharper these days, we’ve tried to make all of our featured product images as big, as sharp and as clear as possible so that we can deliver a store that feels like a truly HD experience.

IMAGE - WHAT'S NEW - END OF CAROUSEL

You told us that you didn’t ever want to feel like you had reached a dead end anywhere while you are browsing. We’ve tried to address this in every area of the new store and, here at the end of the What’s New carousel, you can see that we provide ‘see all’ links to the different types of content you’ve been looking at so you don’t need to go back to the menu (if you don’t want to) to continue browsing.

As well as What’s New, you’ll find more of these new ‘feature categories’ with Heroes and HD product images throughout the store anywhere you see a ‘Latest’ or ‘Most Popular’ category ‘above the line’ in the menu. ‘Above the line’ is a concept you’ll see throughout the navigation and in search as well. It’s our way of indicating that something is ‘featured’. You can expect anything you see ‘above the line’ to be have some sort of featured presentation style like a carousel. Anything ‘below the line’, will be a much more familiar experience to regular users of the old PlayStation Store. So let’s have a look ‘below the line’.

IMAGE - ALL PS3 GAMES

Regular product categories should look pretty familiar in terms of their layout. What we’ve focused on here is making everything much clearer to browse and understand. We’ve made the product images bigger and we’ve provided the key information for each product right next to the image. So, now the title, price, content type and the platform the content is playable on are always displayed clearly.

Speaking of content types and platforms, you told us that when you’re browsing the PlayStation Store you don’t want to see PS3, PS Vita and PSP content all mixed together. So, we’ve created separate sections within the Games category dedicated to PS Vita and PSP. They’re easy to find and make browsing through content for those platforms much simpler. At the same time, it makes browsing for PS3 content, which is what most people are doing on the PlayStation Store on their PS3s, much easier.

IMAGE - SORTING & FILTERING

When you do dive into one of the product categories you’ll see straight away that we’ve added two key features you told us you wanted: sorting and filtering. Now, in any category, you can filter the products being displayed in one of a number of different ways such as by price range, game feature (e.g., online multiplayer), accessory compatibility (3D TV, PS Move, PS Eye, etc.). As well as filtering, you can now sort alphabetically, by release date and by price.

Everything we’ve done to improve the browsing experience, both in feature categories using carousels and in product categories using grids with sorting and filtering, has been with the singular goal of helping you get to the kind of content you’re most interested in as quickly and as easily as possible.

But what if you’re looking for a specific title?

IMAGE - SEARCH - LIT

We’ve completely overhauled the search functionality from top to bottom. You told us that it took too long to perform a search and find what you wanted. So, we set ourselves an ambitious target: to design a search feature which would allow users to get to the content they were looking for without having to enter more than three or four characters.

We’ve replaced the on-screen keyboard with a ‘tumbler’ text input. You enter each letter by scrolling up and down through the list of characters. Each time you add a letter, you’ll notice two things: firstly, that the list of search results on the right-hand side is updated and, secondly, that the list of characters to choose from shrinks so that you can only select letters that will complete a title which contains that sequence of letters.

If you’re searching for LittleBigPlanet, for example, by the time you have input L-I-T using the Tumbler, you’ll see LittleBigPlanet appear ‘above the line’ in Top Results. Top Results will always show what people have been searching for most based on the characters you select. So, the more people who search L-I-T and then click on LittleBigPlanet, the higher that product will then appear in Top Results.

This is one of the many ways we’re trying to make PlayStation Store more dynamic and have it reflect what people are actually doing in the store. As people use the search more and more, so the search experience improves for everyone.

most popular top rated

Search is only one place in the store where what you do shapes the overall store experience for everyone. Whenever you purchase something, you can give it a star rating. Not only will your star rating be added to the overall rating displayed on the product page but it will also help drive the Top Rated chart in our Most Popular categories.

Star rating is not a new feature, but the fact that it now drives our Top Rated chart certainly is. Loads of you are using this feature already but, if you haven’t done so yet, get involved. Top Rated in Most Popular is your opportunity to tell other gamers what the best of the best is from your point of view.

Also in Most Popular, you’ll find the Top Downloads chart which, as the name suggests, shows you what the most downloaded products are that week.

product detail page

Speaking of products, let’s have a look at a product page and how it works. One of our biggest challenges was making sure that you could find all of the content related to one product as simply and easily as possible.

So, we have created a brand new product page which acts as a portal or hub for all of the content for a given title. As you can see on the LittleBigPlanet example above, at the top of the screen is the most important information for that product, such as playable platform, file size and release date, as well as the different ways you can get hold of it – whether that’s buying it, playing the demo, or even downloading a trial version you can play and then unlock later to turn it into the full game.

Further down, all of the add-ons, themes, avatars, and videos for that product are also displayed on this ‘parent page’ as we call it. You can scroll through all the content on the right-hand side like a web page or you can jump quickly between the different sections using the quick links on the left-hand side of the page. If you do click through to one of these related products, getting back to the ‘parent page’ is now easy.

product add-on page

You told us that, in the old store, pages for add-ons were difficult to find and that it was often hard to tell which content an add-on was for. In the new PlayStation Store, if you arrive at an add-on page via search, or via a category page for example, it should now always be clear which game that product relates to. At the top of the page, you’ll find that information in the title area. You’ll also find a (Game Page) tile which shows what the ‘parent product’ is and links straight back to it.

So there you have it, the all-new PlayStation Store. Easier to use, quicker to find the products you want and designed with your feedback in mind. But this is not the end. It’s just the beginning of a journey that will see PlayStation Store evolve over time. We’re planning to drop in new features and make updates every month or two based on the backlog of features we’ve already got lined up and on the feedback we get from you.

We couldn’t have produced what we have without your amazing input and feedback. We’re really proud of it and we hope you like it.

Did you enjoy this?

Comments

503 Comments 16 Author replies
Show oldest first  
 

Well, this is a nice surprise….ok, maybe not so much of a surprise seeing as I’ve already seen this on TheSixthAxis, twitter, facebook, the PS forum, the US PS.Blog and even here in the comments and replies….but it’s nice non-the-less ;-)

Seriously though, the store update looks great and was very much needed, can’t wait to try it out. It seems to have improved every aspect and the search facility and linked content are particularly pleasing.

I’m aware that the download list has not been changed yet but I implore you to update this soon. It is a real issue and is compounded by the now bountiful PS Plus; I don’t always have the time or space for every Plus game so I snag them in my download list for later and really need an easier way to see what I have available on there.

Cheers,
Mik

 
manutreble 17 October, 2012 @ 11:06 am   2

I really like this new ps store good work Sony it’s about it had an makeover tbh :D

Fred Dutton 17 October, 2012 @ 11:06 am   3

Heads-up everyone. Elliott is extremely busy today making sure the new Store rolls out properly. However, he is planning to come on and answer any questions later this afternoon, so fire away. He’ll only be talking about Store functionality, and will have nothing to say about release date issues!

    Elliott Dumville 19 October, 2012 @ 10:15 am    

    Thanks Fred. And thanks to everyone for your patience. As you can imagine, it’s been a very busy couple of days for the team.

    Right, let’s get to answering some of your comments and questions!

 
almighty-slayer 17 October, 2012 @ 11:06 am   4

Seen nothing but really bad impressions so far on NeoGAF

 
the_ghost__NL 17 October, 2012 @ 11:07 am   5

Awesomeness how about adding that awesome search function into the download list . . .

    Elliott Dumville 19 October, 2012 @ 10:20 am    

    The download list is obviously something that a lot of people have been asking about. Particularly why it hasn’t changed.

    As I mentioned in the blog post, this release is just the beginning of the programme we have lined up for devloping the store in the future. We’ll be adding new features every month or two and a new Download List is one of many features that we’re working on for future releases.

 
mystic2405 17 October, 2012 @ 11:07 am   6

just tried it, don’t know what to make of it yet….

 
manutreble 17 October, 2012 @ 11:08 am   7

*time*

 

Has the download list been changed? If not, why not? It was the only truly “broken” aspect of the old store. Having to spend 5 minutes scrolling to the bottom is not good design!

 
almighty-slayer 17 October, 2012 @ 11:11 am   9

Apparently the new store takes 30 seconds just to start up, and is insanely slow once it’s started.

Also, it takes 5 steps to download a demo now:

- Add to cart
- View cart
- Checkout
- Confirm purchase
- Download

Good work.

    Fred Dutton 17 October, 2012 @ 1:22 pm    

    I can jump in and comment on this while we’re waiting for Elliott. The speed issue will improve drastically when the region-wide roll-out is complete. These are just launch day jitters. Sorry for any inconvenience – please be patient while the creases are ironed out.

    Elliott Dumville 19 October, 2012 @ 10:31 am    

    The very first time you launch the store after you’ve installed the new application, you can expect it to take up to 30 seconds to load as various jobs run for the first time in the background.

    Every time you launch the store from the XMB after that it will be much faster.

 
bitbydeath 17 October, 2012 @ 11:11 am   10

Looks great but is anyone else having trouble finding the new content? Previously all new content could be found under one menu but now it all seems broken up, is this intentional?

 
Carnivius_Prime 17 October, 2012 @ 11:11 am   11

Nice to see all related content like avatars and themes get linked from the parent product’s page. Is it still possible to having all products listed in one simple column? I don’t like big boxes of various sizes scattered everywhere and it’s one reason I ignore them on the old store and simply hurry into the main list.

And please, pleeeease sort out the Downloads list. I’ve had another hard drive problem this week so again I go to redownload well over a thousand items. Would be nice if it could tell you what you’ve already reinstalled back on your PS3 so you don’t waste time accidentally doing some of it again too cos it’s very easy to lose track with such a big list of items.

 

Looking good, make sure these are a priority next.

1. Download list – It need filters. I don’t was demo’s & beta’s i downloaded, DLC and so on. Filters! :)
2. Speed, speed and more speed. Make sure the new store is lightning fast and downloads are just as fast. With so much digital content, it’s so important.
3. Gifting feature – Let me gift items from the store to friends.
4. Web store – I want to be able to buy and browse the store from ANY device with a browser.

 

Any new features for the PS Plus section of the store? For example keep track of all the games from the instant collection I have downloaded even if they are no longer there? Sort of like My Personal Collection?

Just an idea

    Elliott Dumville 19 October, 2012 @ 10:37 am    

    That’s a nice idea zedmayer.

    PlayStation Plus is obviously a really important part of the store and you can expect there to be many more Plus-related features coming in the future.

 

Have you done anything with the Download List to stop it from being a completely useless and unintuitive collection of hundreds of demos and games and DLC bits from every platform?

 

No mention of the download list.

Did you fix it?

It was priority 1, over and above every single other thing in the Store, so it should have been fixed before any other change was even considered.

 
Xorhacker 17 October, 2012 @ 11:16 am   16

Looking good, it’s about time for an update on the store, glad you did it =]

 
EmperorLawlight 17 October, 2012 @ 11:16 am   17

Initial impressions are that the new store is very, very slow compared to the old one.

 
almighty-slayer 17 October, 2012 @ 11:17 am   18

They haven’t done anything with the download list, no

GraFGrizzli 17 October, 2012 @ 11:17 am   19

It’s useless to redesign Store when you can’t even bring whole content to Europe.
But it looks nice (even if you stole idea from Steam), hopeful it will be more functional, then old store.

 
kingofscotland 17 October, 2012 @ 11:18 am   20

I really like the look of it and think its a gazillion times better than the current store and look forward to trying it out for myself later today.

I’ve heard it is slower and my main gripe with the old one was how slow and unresponsive it is, however I won’t read too much into early reports until it’s fully rolled out and creases ironed out.

Good work and hope download list and web store are high priorities going forward

    Elliott Dumville 19 October, 2012 @ 11:11 am    

    Thanks kingofscotland.

    We know that speed and performance is top of users’ minds in any application they use. We’ve worked really hard to make sure that the new PlayStation Store lives up to people’s expectations.

    As Fred touched on earlier, we had a few “launch day jitters” as we were rolling out the first few countries but since then everything has been performing really nicely.

 
RebelYell0 17 October, 2012 @ 11:19 am   21

Great, looking forward to try it out!

Just one little hope for the future.. FILTERS in the Download List! :p

GraFGrizzli 17 October, 2012 @ 11:20 am   22

And download list is still as bad as before? So your users have to spent hours to find ”that one purchase” from 1000 items?
What’s idea behind this anyway? New xbox and wii will be released and Sony just want to look up to date or what? Then you need something more, than just a new look.

 

I hope these early reports of the store being slow are either false or simply due to it not being fully into its stride yet.

Navigation speed was a serious issue with the old store; having to wait for each page to respond before continuing. I really hope this is not still the case as that will unfortunately sour all the other improvements, and there are a lot of improvements.

Herwest299 17 October, 2012 @ 11:21 am   24

I like it but I think the search function is just horrible. It won’t even let you type in any keys after you type in a few as it automatically assumes what you want will appear on the right. I tried searching up avatars for a game and I can’t because of the search function and now must do it manually by scrolling down the avatars list.

 

Seems that many people read neogaf’s reports about the australian store experience. ;)

I’ll hold back my verdict till some time passed by. When there is something that new things have overabundant, than it is room for optimization. So I’m pretty sure that some tweaks will increase performance.

I like Erroneus suggestions btw. Gifting, library and web store are essentials. Others that I would require are age verification, wish lists, user reviews etc.

    Elliott Dumville 19 October, 2012 @ 11:40 am    

    Hi Gotwar,

    Hopefully you’ve had a chance to use the new store now and you’ve had a good experience. I agree with you, Erroneus’s suggestions are nice ones. After the new store has been rolled out to each country across the world, we’ll start work on the next update. I can’t comment on specifics yet but we’ve got a list of great features which we’ll be rolling out over the coming months that we’re really excited about.

    Age verification is an important topic which we take very seriously. In the same way as we did with the old store, we only let users see and purchase the content which is appropriate for their age group. So, for example, if you’re under 18, you’ll never be shown or allowed to purchase content which is 18 rated.

 
danielm1979 17 October, 2012 @ 11:23 am   26

Graphics and design are nice and all, but please focus on interface and speed! This is still too much fragmentation. Keep it simple!

 

“Cart”! RALMAO!

 

Gifting, web store and a more user friendly download list would be awesome..

I’m a bit surprised that no one in your focus groups seems to have mentioned that they’d like pricing to be more in line with other markets too…

 

I have to admit… this does look pretty damn awesome! Looking forward to it, what time is due to change?

    Elliott Dumville 19 October, 2012 @ 11:52 am    

    Thanks spikkle. We’re rolling out the store country by country. We’re alreay live in 25 countries now. We’ll be keeping the community updated as we roll out the rest.

 
CyDoNiA-UK 17 October, 2012 @ 11:27 am   30

Can you now also filter the “Previous Downloads” section? When I got my Vita I had to scroll through hundreds of previously downloaded PS3 items to find the Vita stuff I had already downloaded.

Also the Vita resets this list to the top every time you click to install something so it takes an age to find all your previous items you want.

Also stop placing white or bright coloured backgrounds behind the white text. ;)

 
CoolRichy008UK 17 October, 2012 @ 11:29 am   31

yes i agreee plz make the download list easy so we can find a game by putting in a search because some of us has got about 1133 downloads in history and i hope the dload list history will be easy to find and plz put a patch out for naughty bear panic in paradise its unplayable due to keeps freezing

 
bitbydeath 17 October, 2012 @ 11:31 am   32

It’s slow the first time you load it but after works faster than the previous store. Not experiencing any slow loading icons now unlike the previous version.

 

It all sounds good, can’t wait to try it out!

sony,you know for years now that people want from you to fix the DOWNLOAD LIST,but you still manage to release a new store without fixing it… i’m speechless :)

 
MordecaiHunter 17 October, 2012 @ 11:32 am   35

As long as it has the new Borderlands 2 DLC later this afternoon
tbh i couldn’t care less ^_^

 
willbillbill 17 October, 2012 @ 11:33 am   36

Heard somewhere that its a HTML5 based store so we should eventually be able to view and purchase on a computer too. The store will probably load slow the first time you head too it on ps3 but will load much faster next time as the store will be cached and will only need to update the new images and not the whole store again…or am I way off?

 
Bealinator 17 October, 2012 @ 11:33 am   37

I was sold on this new design last week, but this increased clarity over the changes has made me love it even more. I do think I’ll be exploring every nook and cranny of this new store tonight just for the fun of it, might also download a few things too to mark the occasion.

Now here’s a question: will this be the last ‘proper’ redesign of the PS Store on PS3, or will there be a few more revisions down the line? The Store just keeps on getting better and better with each revamp. The first one was pretty good but so basic these days when you look back on it. 2.0 is a very good layout and functionality, but it seems when it has been crammed with content that those icons just aren’t loading. Glad to see 3.0, at least we’ll see the icons!

Will it be possible for us to look at our download history in months and years? I’ve a hell of a lot of things on my list, absolutely painful to look through every single item till I find what I want.

    Elliott Dumville 19 October, 2012 @ 11:59 am    

    “Will this be the last ‘proper’ redesign of the PS Store on PS3, or will there be a few more revisions down the line?”

    Great question Bealinator. We’re committed to improving the store continually. This is definitely the first in a series of changes that PlayStation Store customers can expect in the coming months. What we wanted to do with this release was get the fundamentals right. From now on, it’s about evolving the new store by adding features and making other improvements.

    Exciting times ahead!

 

I like the new design but its slow and download stuff takes way too many steps.

 
mattledger 17 October, 2012 @ 11:34 am   39

All I really want from the new store is to have a regular update time each week, I hate knowing a game is coming but having to check throughout the day to see if it’s available yet.

KillaT2501 17 October, 2012 @ 11:35 am   40

Please sort the download list. It’s a depressing chore right now.

Scrolling through half a decade of demos and DLC is too dang long.

Finding multiple old downloads is even worse when I’ve found what I want to download the page reloads and the scrolling begins again.

Comments section / rating from with in the XMB would be awesome too.

 

LOVING the feature where all content for a given title is grouped under that titles “master” page.

Just hope SCEE sort the content properly into these sections, as past performance would suggest it will stop after the first month.

 
Sr_Livindeath 17 October, 2012 @ 11:35 am   42

This new playstation store reminds me a lot of xbox 360 market place and I hate xbox marketplace becouse is a mess, this new store feels like you threw all the new content into a bucket, and also is laggy. I really don’t like it, there was nothing wrong with the old one.

 
almighty-slayer 17 October, 2012 @ 11:38 am   43

@Mettledger we do have a regular update time. The store updates almost every week between 3 and 5pm. Almost without fail. Check at 5pm every week and 9 weeks out of 10 the update will be live.

 
LiquidSolid 17 October, 2012 @ 11:39 am   44

What I hate about it:
1) It’s SLOW. 30-40 seconds to load into, then ~5 secs to view each page.
2) To do anything requires a ridiculous number of button presses. Why not map functions to other buttons (square = cart, Start = Search).
3) The full latest list is hidden all the way to the right. Why? It makes no sense.
4) The download list is even WORSE than before because scrolling takes WAY longer.
5) Search takes forever to use because the letter input is awful. USB keyboards aren’t even supported.
6) It doesn’t even work at the moment. Trying to buy/put money on my account results in an error. Why would you possibly put it up if it still has these problems? I’d like to give you money for Unfinished Swan, Sony.

What I like about it:
1) Consolidating games and their related content (DLC, etc.) onto a single page. It’s something Steam has been doing for years and you’ve finally caught on. Good move.
2) Smart search. Good idea, bad implementation.
3) Organisation. It looks a bit tidier now.

In other words, it’s no good. Two steps forwards, ten steps backwards. Please hire some decent user interface designers.

 

Please answer this. In this new store design can people after purchasing a product write a mini review of what they think of it so it can help others in their purchase?

 

Borderlands 2 DLC is there now for me ;-) Downt have to wait for that…

 

Gotta say, I’m not feeling it – I’m sure it’ll grow on my but first impressions are that it looks nice but I think functionality has taken a hit. Also, the search is horrible, really really horrible… Sorry

 

Store looks really cool! :)

I’m just going to add my name to the growing list of “Please Update the ‘Download List’” requests… I’ve been using the store since forever, and finding anything in the almost 1700 items is a nightmare at best, especially since there is periodic ‘reshuffles’ of the items just to make a nightmare even worse.

Also, any idea when we will see this format or similar on the Vita Store?

Loving the changes, keep them coming (can’t wait for Vita PS Plus!)

 

The looks have definitely improved, hopefully the speed as well!

 

the last 30 mins with the new store has been the most frustrating experience i’ve had with PS for years, it failed to recognize i’m a plus member till i quit and reloaded, had 3 store crashes countless errors and now i cant add funds at all. tried on ps3, vita and on the SEN website with 3 different credit cards (all of which are valid with enough funds). all i wanted was unfinished swan and borderlands 2 dlc but only managed to download a couple of demos….. bring back the old store, at least it worked

    Fred Dutton 17 October, 2012 @ 1:25 pm    

    Sorry, the wallet issue (and the speed – see above) is being dealt with now. You should be able to add funds within the next two hours. Anyone visiting the Store for the first time should no longer experience this issue, as of now.

Load all