At a press event in London today, Sony unveiled a complete overhaul of its digital store front. The new look PS Store is set to replace the old design in Europe on Wednesday October 17 and brings with it a host of new features.
The PlayStation store is to receive a completely new look and additional functionality, Sony revealed today.
Aesthetic changes include a more visually orientated store-front intended to better highlight new content, alongside a redesigned UI that places sections for games, movies and TV content on the front page.
The redesign ensures the entire screen is used to display content and everything scales, so users with a SD connection will be able to experience the same redesigned aesthetic.
The more dynamic look does away with the old, blue background and revolves around a "Hero" concept. This places high-profile characters from popular games, such as FIFA 13 and Assassin's Creed 3, on each page alongside windows featuring new titles and highlighted content.
The pages themselves scroll from left to right, on what Sony describes as a carousel set-up, which puts more of the store’s content within easy reach as the user moves through scrolling pages.
It’s from a functional perspective that the store will undergo its biggest changes. The search function is now smart, so provides a reductive list of options as each letter of the search phrase is typed. Abbreviations and mis-spellings will also be covered, allowing users to search for MW3 or Mas Efect.
Search performance will be further refined over the coming months, "What will be refreshing to customers is that this will represent a new agile programme that will enable us to add new content every month or so, rather than dumping the new content and saying we're done," explained PS Store product development manager, Elliot Dumville.
Filtering has also been improved, filtering is now possible by content type, but also by price and even by peripheral support.
PS Vita and PSP integration sees two separate catalogues of content for those devices. Dumville explained that the vast majority of PS Store users browse by PS3 content and so this separating of home and mobile console offerings will allow them to browse only content that is relevant to them. The search function will still return results for content across all platforms.
In a guided tour of the store, Dumville showed-off grouped content, which brings together all content for any given title in one place, with links to demos, full games, DLC and themes. Searching for Black Ops, for example, shows related screen shots, links to a demo and provides recommendations for other Call of Duty content.
Movie content works in a very similar way to games, and continues the 'Hero' concept found in the game section.
The redesigned PS Store will be rolled-out in all regions in which PS Store is currently available, starting next week on Wednesday October 17 in PAL regions, culminating in a US launch on Tuesday October 23. VG247 will have an in-depth look at its features and a more extensive discussion with both Dumville and Gordon Thornton, VP of network operations, in the coming days.