For years, Sony's PlayStation Store, offered through its PlayStation 3 consoles and, more recently, through the PlayStation Vita, has provided options for purchasing downloadable games, add-ons, demos and a wide assortment of movies and TV shows on demand. But finding items took a long time due to a proliferation of submenus. Sony has finally addressed that issue, rolling out its oft-delayed relaunch of the PlayStation Store for North America late last week.
The small 26 MB update takes just a few minutes and cobbles together content much more conveniently. Upon startup, you'll see various displayed games and movies to the right. (These are usually reserved for new releases, like this past week's debuts of "Assassin's Creed III" and "Need For Speed: Most Wanted".)
On the left side of the screen, a menu of options includes choices for Games, Movies, TV Shows and Apps, such as NFL Sunday Ticket and Netflix.
At the top of the new main Store screen is a search box that intelligently suggests autocomplete options. We were able to find the Johnny Depp movie "Dark Shadows" by typing a few letters of the first word. (This channel isn't exclusive to just Sony movies – all distributors are on board.)
If you choose to browse between the Games, Movies and TV Shows options, you'll be able to sort choices depending on category. In Games, for example, you can choose from such items as new PlayStation Network games, PlayStation 2 classics, Demos and more, with the option to sort by low-to-high price, alphabetically and more. These take only about a second or so to load, lightning-fast compared to the previous PlayStation Network store.
Unfortunately, there are some hitches with the update, as some content that was previously purchased wasn't available through the menu. For instance, "Joe Danger," a game released back in 2010 for PSN, wasn't available to download through the menu, though we did find it in our "recent downloads" section.
You can see that some parts of the shop are a work in progress, even after the delay from the previous Oct. 23 launch date. That said, this new store interface is way more helpful than the last, and gives you better access to options right at your fingertips, even if a certain few are missing.