PlayStation Network is a great place to get a lot of games, videos, and other content that can enhance the gaming experience. Purchases and downloads are quick and the store is organized neatly into games, videos, and other sections, but there’s one thing that would make the store much better: a more simplified search feature.
So here’s the problem: the search feature is not section specific and it doesn’t know what system you have. When you search, the entirety of PSN’s library is scanned for the text that you enter and the results are not subdivided in any comprehensive way. Furthermore, the place where it is written which system you are purchasing for is easily overlookable for the first time buyer (or for the buyer who has never accidentally purchased a game for the wrong system.) When this combines with an “all sales are final” policy there will be buyers who are turned off from using the PSN store when they could go to amazon and get a hard-copy for the right system with the ability to return it if they get the wrong game.
With these issues in mind, Sony needs to make a few basic changes to optimize the consumer’s experience with the PSN store:
1) Before typing the letters for the name of what the customer is searching for, PSN should require them to select which system’s store they want to look through and what type of media they are looking for. This might seem a tad tedious, but it would ensure that no mistakes are made from the search feature.
2) The system for which they are buying a game should be noted in bright red or some other high-contrast color and there should be a tag before the name of all products on the shopping cart indicating which system.
3) Abandon the letter scrolling format for the keyboard format that is used when sending messages to friends. This wouldn’t necessarily decrease mistakes, but it would make typing less tedious.
4) Offer store theme customization. This would be more of a perk than anything and might be best as a PS Plus gimmick but many consumers like to have customization for everything. In certain cases this might add to satisfaction and sales for PS Plus.
With these simple changes the PSN store could have a greatly enhanced experience for consumers. Ideally some of these changes will be implemented with the release of the PS4.
Let us know in the comments below if something was overlooked or if other changes would make the PSN store a better shopping experience.