In light of the backwards compatibility model that Microsoft announced during the E3 briefing in June, Sony has been relatively quiet on their side. They are planning to use their PlayStation Now service to give fans that backwards compatibility they want. While Microsoft is currently offering Fallout 3 for online pre-orders of Fallout 4, Sony still have to impress their base with more which could be the reason for their updated UI.
Sony’s user interface has remained relatively the same since it was launched last year. Since then, they have not done much in the way of making it exciting or at least intriguing to look at. However, after the update that was rolled out to the PS4 last week, it went live on Tuesday with a new user interface update.
The new design looks somewhat like the “Netflix for games” and borrows some visual cues from their PS Vue service that launched recently. One major benefit to the redesign was that with the old interface, you saw some giant game titles and it only gave you a few options upon startup. Now, you see featured games at the top, below that and you see recently added titles. After that, you can scroll down to see available games per genre.
While the initial impact makes the section more streamlined: as you get the main grid view, game details and the launch screen when you decide to launch the title. However, the ease of use stops there. When you decide to launch the PS Now app on the PS4, which only lets you try the game if you are a member for $19.99 a month.
If you actually want to rent the game, it sends you off to the PS Store. As this is the only option you have when you wish to download DLC, it seems logical that Sony would do this. However, since it isn’t done by a third-party, you think Sony would make it easier to download it through the app.
Sony has been sitting stagnant with the PS Now, especially since they have not added any new games since May. Their game selection is stuck around 100 games and with Microsoft promising about 100 titles by the fall for backwards compatibility, Sony still has a slight lead on them. The major difference is the fact that Sony wants you to pay $19.99 to rent as many games as you want. Microsoft is allowing people with 360 discs to download the game to keep.
As we spoke on a recent podcast, Adam explained by Sony would have to work extra hard for backwards compatibility, Microsoft jump made their major jump ahead of Sony in June. Their $50 price drop and extra game with purchase has made people make the move. Recently, both Adam and I picked up an Xbox One. Sony has a couple of months to make things happen. Let’s see if they can.