Sony planning significant PlayStation Network redesign, reports say

sony-psn-playstation-network

Sony likely can’t wait to watch 2011 recede in the rearview. Between the earthquake and resulting tsunami that rocked Japan in March and the April network intrusion that left the company’s online services out of commission for a full month, there have been too many setbacks already, and there’s still half a year left on the calendar. With renewed effort now being put into creating a more secure online environment for its users, it’s really no surprise to hear that Sony is working on a redesign for its PlayStation Network.

The details come from Reg Hardware, which cites no source but offers some specifics on what we can expect from the new look. The redesign is compared in the report to the competing Xbox Live and Steam services. Sources tell Reg that Sony is currently in the market-testing phase, and that the new look uses “an aesthetic layout with logically marked sections and rolodex lists.”

Product pages for games and movies find inspiration in IMDB.com, with details such as title, publisher, developer, genre, director, leading actors and so on linking to related content on the right side of the screen. Deals of the Week will now be highlighted with their own section and the overall design will drop the deep blues in favor of lighter, brighter colors.

Here’s a tip, Sony: if you really want to get serious about taking on the likes of Xbox Live and Steam, bring in party chat and other community-oriented features. PlayStation 3 owners play online plenty, but it’s out of necessity. Xbox Live users did the same prior to the introduction of a party chat, but that feature created a whole new way to interact with your friends online. It enhances the experience, gives people more of a reason to sign on and congregate. Just saying.

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