The PlayStation 3’s ever-changing operating system (known as the “XrossMediaBar”, or “XMB”) was recently updated to version 3.70. Better than the typical “Playback quality of some PlayStation 3 software has been improved. *COUGH*hackerholepatched*COUGH*” style update, this latest version brought some slick new functions; like the auto-upload of saved game data to the cloud and auto-Trophy syncing (both requiring PS+). However, it’s the update to how the various TV and video apps (i.e. Netflix) are organized, that is the real head-scratcher.
In the above off-screen screenshot, you will see the newly added “TV/Video Services” menu on the XMB. Sony explains its existence:
“Due to the increase in video applications being offered on PS3, we are adding a new category on the XMB”
Ok… But what of the old “Video” menu on the XMB? (where all these services used to reside)
“Any videos downloaded from the PlayStation store will continue to be placed in the existing Video category on the XMB”
What?! Kind of ridiculous to separate out similar content (video), among 2 separate menus! What’s next, a Game Demo menu, separate from PSN Downloaded Games, separate from Blu-ray disc games?? And then they drop this gem:
“A folder labeled “My Channels” within this [TV/Video Services] category will allow you to easily access your downloaded applications.”
A folder WITHIN the new menu category will allow EASY access to your applications… C’mon man! You went and created a whole new menu category, to make it “easier to access the growing list of video applications”, just to then throw those apps in a FOLDER, WITHIN this new menu category?!!
Here’s a thought… How about, instead of adding unnecessary, additional, redundant menu categories to the XMB, you place your shiny new “My Channels” folder IN THE VIDEO MENU! And if you still must segregate downloaded videos, then create another shiny new folder called “Downloaded Videos”, and place it IN THE VIDEO MENU. Exciting! You get to make more folders, with shiny iPhone-esk icons!
The funniest facepalmiest part, is how this folder, in it’s current form, is completely unnecessary, and will never be used. Looking back to the screenshot at the top, or the rough graphic here, you will see that all of my video applications are listed right there, below the folder. Why would I ever take the extra step to click into the folder, when I can just use that next click to load the app I want, right there…
The final annoyance is the fact that the icon, to access my Home Media Server videos [better known as aroFLIX ;)], is still listed in the OLD Video menu. Why wasn’t it allowed to move into the fancy new menu? I consider it a “Video Service”; and frequently switch between my Media Server, Netflix, and Hulu Plus. Thanks for the extra steps in that process!
I’m going to make a prediction, and say that this is in preparation for the addition of some new TV and video services soon. By creating a new menu, as facepalmy as it is, does draw slightly more attention to them; much to the delight of the app providers. I’ll make a deal with you Sony: Give me “NFL Sunday Ticket”, “HBO To-Go”, & “ESPN3” apps, and I’ll get over my annoyance of your poorly organized XMB! ;)
UPDATE (17AUG2011): I must have more influence than I thought! Sony has just announced a partnership with DirecTV to bring NFL Sunday Ticket to the PS3! It sure will look nice sitting next to MLB.tv in the new “My Channels” Folder! :P The pricing is aligned with what a regular DirecTV customer would have to pay; so while the steep price is tough to swallow, I can stomach it. Now what about HBO To-GO and ESPN3 . . .