We had heard rumblings of this earlier in the year, but now users in Europe can browse and purchase content from the PlayStation Store via a Computer or Mobile phone. Check it out for yourself at this link.
Fast. After a bit of a slow start earlier today, the store seems to be up and running at full speed. While the initial load might be a little long, after that the store just flies. Switching between links pretty much goes as fast as your internet can handle (it’s a webpage duh). There is no lag on selections like with PS3 and it even seems that adding stuff to the cart and getting demos is a shorter process.
Easy to navigate. Everything you want is right on the homepage. There is no need to dig deep into menus to find new releases, it is right there in the menu bar. You can also filter things multiple times. So if you want an “Action, Adventure, £9.00 game with online multiplayer” you can find all the results quickly.
The search works. One of my most hated features on the PS3 store is the new search system that is implemented. It isn’t as fast as typing something out, as it uses a predictive typing system that removes letters. It is also very slow to scroll between letters. This is eliminated on the web store in favor of text field. Results will still bring you to game pages like with PS3, so it is basically just making search usable once again. No word on whether you can find content before the store is officially published like you could on the old PlayStation Store.
Payment options. While users in North America can use credit cards or prepaid network cards, EU users have the option to use Paypal. While some people dislike Paypal, it is always nice to have more options.
No auto-downloading. As of right now, things that you buy will only be added to your download list. We know the PS3 was wake-up on LAN and auto-shutoff functionality so it is probably in the works, but adding this would make the Web store experience complete. Imagine being out of the house or at work. Hop on your phone or computer, buy a game and when you get home… it is there ready and waiting to be played on your PS3.
Go home. If there is one thing about the store that is a little confusing it is going back to the home page. Currently you have to click on the Sony Entertainment logo. This is a rather simple fix and just a minor complaint.
Tags. Much like with the US store content is still a bit of a mess when it comes to having proper tags. Classic games are tagged with “Online Multiplayer” and it is sort of a mess to find just native PS Vita titles. Everything minis, Vita, and PSP are lumped into one large category. This can be easily fixed, it will just take someone a lot of times behind the scenes to do it.
Not available for North American store. Unless the PS3 store sees some major improvements over the coming months, I don’t think I will use it much after the web store launches in the US. It is just so much faster and easier to use. It is basically what we have now on the PS3, but oh so much better.
Let us know what you think of it in the comments.