Sony opens a whole new PlayStation Store on Oct. 17

playstation network

Nintendo’s quietly building hype with its Wii U, selling out pre-orders at every retailer around, from its own Nintendo World Store to GameStop. Microsoft is letting the Xbox 360 speak for itself this fall, with a rock solid library, reliable releases like Halo 4 and Xbox Live community staples like Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 to carry the device through what’s likely its last full price season. Then there’s Sony. It’s not entirely clear what Sony is doing with its PlayStation business, other than giving the brand a quiet makeover.

The latest facelift to hit PlayStation: Sony announced the details of a full makeover for the PlayStation Store on PlayStation 3.

Long overdue, Sony finally made public its much-rumored plans to refresh its digital game storefront on Thursday. The redesigned store will go live next Wednesday, and bring with it what Sony hopes will be a markedly smoother shopping experience, opening up what’s become a substantial catalog of retro and modern downloadable games.

What’s changed? Everything. The baby blue theme that has become the trademark of the PSN, key in its little shopping bag logo, has been replaced with a sleeker black and grey theme that recalls Sony’s industrial design (televisions, consoles casings, etc.) The store itself is laid out quite similarly to the current Xbox Live dashboard, with large windows advertising new releases in categories like Movies and Games. The cosmetic shift bellies the more user friendly changes though, as categories for products expand not unlike the Cross Media Bar (XMB) used for navigating the PS3 itself. Selecting PlayStation 3 Games will bring out a slider menu that lets you explore options by price, release date, and other sub-categories that should help people better discover things as well as find things they’re looking for. Even search tools have been overhauled.

“Everyone is trying to solve the same kind of problems, but each [eCommerce] ecosystem is different,” game store development manager Elliott Dumville told Eurogamer, “We have a sense of PlayStation values that we want to be true to, and we need to deliver on that as well as solving interface issues.”

A solid makeover to keep the platform relevant and people spending on the product. It’s the same ethos behind the facelift given to the PlayStation 3 itself, a new model that’s lighter, smaller, and cheaper to make. The only problem is that, while Sony is doing the leg work to make PlayStation more approachable and appealing as a service and as a machine, it’s not offering the full package of new exclusive content and a lower price to go with it. The new store may seem like a small change, but it could be significant for Sony were it brining in a huge number of new users this fall with a cheaper machine. It isn’t though.

Product Review

Nokia’s 3.1 Plus is an affordable phone that’s crippled by its camera

The Nokia 3.1 Plus is HMD Global’s first smartphone to be sold by a U.S. carrier in-store. It’s only available on Cricket Wireless right now, which underlines its focus on affordability. Should you buy a phone this affordable?
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

Take some time to reminisce with the 25 best Sega Genesis games of all time

Although the company has since fallen into obscurity, Sega was an indisputable titan throughout the '90s. That said, here are 25 best Sega Genesis games that helped define its fabled decade.
Home Theater

Everything to know about Sling TV: Channels, pricing, and more

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.
Gaming

Get the most life out of your Xbox One controller with these tips

The Xbox One controller has fantastic battery life, but eventually your batteries will still die. To make it even better and ensure you never have to stop gaming, follow these tips.
Gaming

How you can share your best gaming moments with friends on the PS4

Check out Digital Trends' quick guide to everything you need to know to save your outstanding PlayStation 4 gameplay moments, share them online, and transfer them to your computer.
Gaming

A beginner’s guide to Far Cry New Dawn’s postapocalyptic Hope County

Far Cry New Dawn is yet another entry in Ubisoft's popular open world shooter franchise. But while it may feel quite similar in motion, the progression system is changed in a lot of ways. Our beginner's guide is here to help.
Gaming

Learn to scavenge like a pro with our Far Cry New Dawn crafting guide

Far Cry New Dawn revolves around the hunt -- the hunt for materials to craft new weapons, vehicles, and other useful items. It's easy to miss out on great opportunities to find new materials if you don't go off the beaten path.
Gaming

Here's our take on the best game-streaming services currently out there

You can still get your physical video game discs or cartridges at your local store or download games digitally, but another option is even more convenient: Game streaming. Here are the best game streaming services.
Gaming

PS4 vs. Switch: After weighing the pros and cons, which one comes out on top?

Nintendo Switch versus PlayStation 4: Which one has better overall value? We break down the pros and cons of each platform to tell you which of these consoles is truly worth the money.
Gaming

Xbox's app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Gaming

Here’s how to set up a virtual private network (VPN) on your Xbox One

Online privacy is more important now than it's ever been, and gaming is happening online more than ever before. Here's a quick guide on how to set up a VPN for your Xbox One so you game in safe anonymity.
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially popular League of Legends.
Gaming

Among hundreds of choices, these are the best 25 SNES games of all time

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games.