UPDATE: It looks as though PSN Operations have heard us loud and clear. After over 1500 angry comments, and a rating average dip from 4.92 to 2.48, Chris Morell of the Playstation Blog, shut down the comments section.
Geez… What happened to my XMB last night? It used to be such a sleek, and elegant interface, but all that has changed now thanks to 3.00. Here are some things that PS3 owners were greeted with upon installing the 3.00 update:
-Larger images and lettering on the cross media bar. Right when I saw my XMB, I thought the update had set my PS3 back to its default settings. It looked like it was set to 480p! PSN Operations obviously thinks that the majority of PS3 gamers are eighty years old.
-Advertisements everywhere. The playstation store icons underneath the Game and Video sections are just ridiculous. I understand the need to raise awareness of the Playstation Store and its offerings, but if it compromises the simple and concise movie/game sections, then it needs to go.
-Lack of new avatars. Now this has been a feature that I have been clamoring for since Novemeber 2006. When Eric Lempel announced 3.00 would support new avatars, he failed to mention that there would be absolutely none at launch. Who knows when we will start to see new premium, let alone generic avatars. I am sick of having the same Calling All Cars avatar as four other people on my buddy list.
-Horrid friends list. This is when I knew this update would not sit well with others. It looks as if someone wiped bird **bleep** straight down my buddy list. Who could have possibly thought this was a good idea? In all fairness, it does look like they are getting to something with this redesigned section. The first idea that came to mind(other than bird **bleep**) was that they are trying to replicate the gamer card. It looks as if these grey rectangles could replace the trophy and profile cards all together. They could easily fit all that information into these rectangles, which makes me wonder, why cant we? If these rectangles are a new, and faster way to see someones trophy prowess, then why is that not possible in this update? This means that it was thrown in for cosmetic purposes only. Unbeknownst to PSN Operations it makes the XMB look awful and totally covers your background.
-News ticker. To be honest, I think this is perfectly fine. I dont mind the rectangle surrounding it as well as the new mail/buddy notifications. Not only that but they resolved the battery/clock issue when pressing the PS button. With that said, I can understand how some dislike the new feature. I for one do like it and I think the “Whats New” section is a welcome substitute for the RSS feed of the past XMB. Sure, its nothing to write home about, but at least it isnt scattered under each category of the XMB like the store icon is.
As you may very well know, I am far from the only person who dislikes this update. Just check out the official Playstation Blog and take a gander at the comments section of the 3.00 post.
Now, I understand that most of the things that I mentioned above can be remedied, but if they were fixed, what would that leave us with? The majority of the new “features” were either strongly despised or simply unnecessary. If they were to take those out, 3.00 would consist of dynamic themes, and thats it about it. Hardly justifies the jump from 2.8 to 3.00, no?
Unfortunately, I think PSN Operations is managed poorly and fail to use their time in a constructive manner. We have yet to have a substantial update to the PS3 for roughly six months, and this is what they have for us? Is 3.00 really the answer to the ever expanding Xbox Live? Just this season, Xbox Live has introduced downloadable retail 360 titles, as well as twitter/facebook integration. Not only that but the 360 was in the market a year prior to the PS3, giving PSN Operations the advantage as far as what to impliment before the PS3 hit store shelves. They chose to do absolutely nothing. You could not even change the background to the XMB! We had to wait for two years for in-game XMB, just imagine how much longer it will take for them to finally introduce cross game voice chat.
I suppose the point I am trying to make is that Sony should strongly consider replacing much of the PSN Operations staff, especially the director, Eric Lempel. I love trophies and love in-game XMB, but were two years really necessary for features that should have been included in the PS3 from day one? Personally, I am sick of these worthless and ill conceived concepts that make it into PS3 updates. Perhaps SCE should take a look at PSN Operations and clean house.
And while theyre at it, get rid of the Playstation Home team as well. I mean, **bleep** have they been doing.
Very sorry if I have come off as rude, but this is starting to get obnoxious.