Having the PlayStation Network has been crucial to Sony’s continued success in the field of gaming, especially when it is compared to modern competitors such as mobile and cloud gaming options. To keep fans happy, they need to continually improve services and prove how they have done so. What enhancements could PlayStation Network implement to improve players’ experiences?
Some intrepid PlayStation fans tested several backward compatible games on both a PS4 and a PS5 to categorically show that the load time was cut. Some were barely perceptible, but others loaded twice as fast. For example, The Last of Us 2 shaves around 30 seconds off its load time from the menu to the gameplay. The PSN store icon would previously load webpages on the PS4. For the PS5, it is built-in, so loads faster.
The fact that players have noticed such speed improvements shows how important fast loading is to PlayStation players. Moving forwards, the PSN could benefit from being even quicker to use. Indeed, speed is important when it comes to gaming across the board.
For instance, when building their online gaming platform, Pronet ensured that all elements were built into one system. This cuts the time needed for communication and results in faster loading times. The platform can then be used for a multitude of purposes, from sportsbook to online casinos. Ensuring this from the beginning builds on what other consoles have learned the hard way. The unified approach could be something PlayStation look to do in future to cut load times even more.
Some vocal critics of the PlayStation Network have suggested that digital downloads are flawed. Not only do they suggest that they are expensive, but that they lack some of the features of previous modes of playing i.e. discs. Some suggest that not being able to sell on the download once played or to give to friends to complete is a major flaw.
Some are suggesting that old games are still as expensive as they were upon release, despite the fact the gameplay may be dated and the features not as modern as some of the newer games. This attests to the popularity the games still retain.
But, in Sony’s defence, other forms of gaming retain a steep pricing structure, such as Nintendo. Pokémon, for instance, is in its eighth generation. Yet games from as far back as 2009 are still akin to prices they would have been at the time. Some fans of the franchise suggested that the games don’t depreciate at all – so there is no need to drop the price of these titles.
The rise of retro gaming across all consoles proves that even old-fashioned gameplay is popular. But perhaps Sony could alter the features of their downloads to fix game-breaking bugs found in the original old releases.
The PlayStation Network isn’t without flaws – nothing of such a magnitude could ever be perfect. But the fact that Sony is acknowledging what could be improved, such as making loading times faster with the new console release, shows they are committed to making sure fans get the most out of the PSN.