Yes, I admit I’m an Xbox guy. Despite showing up six years later to the console wars and winding up in a distant second place behind Sony’s PlayStation 2 console, they seemed to create a more elegant presentation with their hardware than Sony ever did. Tonight I went out to buy SSX and wound up with a copy on the PlayStation 3. Somehow I can handle Sony’s clunky interfaces and impersonal interactions, but I really am getting tired of dealing with the PlayStation 3.
Upon inserting the SSX Blu-ray into my PS3 console, it prompted me to update the firmware. Fine. I have a history of this. It’s been more than two weeks since I’ve turned on my PS3, so it was expected. When that finished downloading, then installing, it prompted me back at the XMB to start SSX again. I did this. I got through the splash screens before it said that I needed to connect to log in to the PlayStation Network in order to use the multiplayer features. Except, here I was, signing in, and it wasn’t taking. Hrm.
I make it through one more menu before it says that there’s a new System Update and that I should install it. What? I just did that! Well, here comes another one. After all that, about ten minutes worth of work, I was finally prompted to play the game, but it still wouldn’t sign into PlayStation Network.
The big question to me is why doesn’t Sony just lump these things together. This isn’t anything new, in fact the PlayStation Vita is now undergoing the same treatment. Sony releases a new firmware update, cites ‘various system improvements’, and then forces you to wait before using your device. On a standard basis, I don’t really understand these updates at all and none create any sort of impression on my usage of the device. Microsoft will do updates from time to time as well, but they lump them together and keep them small.
But it’s really just part of Sony’s philosophy of the PlayStation line as a series of general use computers. Sure, it makes sense that if you’re going to treat your game consoles like productivity stations, they perhaps require some dry element to remind people that this is not going to be an exciting or cohesive experience. The problem is that the masters of that realm have already moved on.
If I have just one request for Sony with the PlayStation 4, that would be to add some soul to their machine. Otherwise I’m just going to keep buying the version I can pop into the tray and start playing immediately.
As it should be.