Henning’s PS3 Soapbox: XMB is too In Your Face


The XMB is too in-your-face for my taste.

I was playing Army of Two with Steve the other day, and there’s a part where you have to select your profile data. First, you say that you want to select it, then you have to confirm, and afterwards, you have to exit. If I selected a profile in the first place, that should be enough. Now I know what you’re going to say. What if you selected the wrong profile by mistake? Ok, maybe the first prompt might be acceptable, but once that’s passed I don’t want to have to hit circle to exit, I want it to keep going!

So what about this situation?

Say you want to change the wallpaper. You go to your photos. You go to the photo you want. You hit triangle. You select the option to set as wallpaper, and then it prompts you to make sure that’s what you want to do. After all those many steps, I think it’s pretty obvious that this is what I want to do. And besides, even if it isn’t, I can easily go back and choose my previous wallpaper.

And what about this?

You’re in the store. You want to download something. You click the download button. Then the same artifact appears again, but in list view, and you have to hit download again. What’s up with that? I already said that I wanted to download it, why does it have to ask again? And why does it ask if I want to put media on my HDD or memory stick? Can’t it just default to the HDD? I can always copy it over to the memory stick later if I wanted to!

So you say I’m nitpicking.

I’m not! It’s all about the total user experience. Frankly I don’t like being nagged to death for everything I want to do. “Are you sure Jonnyboy that you want to do this action? After all, it’s completely harmless and you can easily undo it later if you really had to. But I don’t trust you to know what you’re doing, so I’m gonna bug you about everything you do until the cows come home.”

Let’s take a look at the Mac.

One of the things I found was odd when I moved over to using my Mac (a white MacBook, if you must know) is the lack of confirmations. No “Apply” buttons. In the preferences, when I selected something, it just happened. When you change the desktop background on a Mac, it changes as soon as you click on the image. How refreshing! How instant! How easy!

I think Sony has a bit to learn…


Written by: Blackstaffer - News Contributor


  1. #1 by ehandlr on August 8th, 2008 [ 44542 Points ]

    Can’t say this bothers me…..but your right about the total experience.

  2. #2 by Nash on August 8th, 2008

    I like the XMB. I like that you can use it in-game now. I use XP so I’m used to confirming and it doesn’t bother me (to a certain extent). Sony can’t please everybody and I think they’ve done enough to earn a little break from complaints. I think we should all spend a little more time enjoying the positives than harping on the negatives. Besides, if this is all that is left to complain about then Sony has come a long way since Nov 06!

  3. #3 by Tosh Hatch on August 8th, 2008 [ 1102 Points ]

    I do wish there where less steps to accomplish something. But it has never annoyed me that much. I use a mac at home to, but I use windows at work. So I guess I’m just used to it.

  4. #4 by Solid_Nat on August 8th, 2008 [ 490 Points ]

    You see you said it all when you mentioned that you are a Mac user! If you use Windows and for that fact Vista then you will be more then used to the constant messages to ask if you want to do something you have already clicked about 10 times!

    Maybe in the OS handbook it states always check 3 times with the user before doing anything! At least when you select a game it doesn’t ask if you are sure you want to play it!!!…..

  5. #5 by hobbes on August 8th, 2008

    hmm, think it’s somewhat of a developers cultural difference on how to do things. Look how excessive Vista is with it’s confirmations, Mac hardly does it at all, which i like. But a good deal of people aren’t so smart and they need these things. I know MS and Mac are both US based, but yeah. I do find the store a bit excessive with the steps and such, but oh well. Could be worse, could be running vista.

  6. #6 by PaxPacis on August 8th, 2008

    Finally somebody where I can relate to.

    They fixed the part when you downloaded a movie you could not answer with the x button but you had to use start.

    Quit the shop question remove please. I can just go in again..

    I use the browser a lot and hate the plugin message.. just a yes to always in the settings..

    and yes I use windows and linux but still would like the questions gone..

    (also when using the onscreen keyboard the start button adds a space?)

  7. #7 by earl on August 8th, 2008

    dude,
    one side of me says:

    who cares what background you have.
    it’s for playing games.
    let’s cut out all the BS and just play games. Use your computer for your flowery background.

    the other side of me LOVES the XMB, viewing photos with a group of people has never been better, (on 46″ lcd). I used to have to keep up a PC out by the TV, now PS3 does enough stuff where I can eliminate that.

    Right now my biggest frustration is that I’m constantly logged out of PSN. “You have been signed out.” error message. CONSTANT. I haven’t looked into resolving this yet, but I have a 5MB connection in my home, it ought to be able to handle PS3 a little more stable than that.

    -earl

  8. #8 by Henning on August 8th, 2008 [ 0 Points ]

    PaxPacis: yes, I get that problem with the Start button adding a space too!!!! Crazy.

    earl: I’d check your internet connection. I don’t have that problem. I’m using a wired connection, however, which is more reliable than wireless.

  9. #9 by Dude on August 8th, 2008

    lol your so lazy that , that bothers you omg man are you american ?

  10. #10 by Henning on August 8th, 2008 [ 0 Points ]

    lol omg man are you prejudiced ?

  11. #11 by James on August 8th, 2008

    Sounds like you’re using and admin account on your Mac for day to day use. I wouldn’t do this if I were you for security reasons.

    See here for a very well written explanation of why you shouldn’t use your admin account for daily use.

    http://www.macusersforum.com/index.php?showtopic=16966&mode=threaded

    Anyway, hitting X button one more time is no big deal really :)

  12. #12 by James on August 8th, 2008

    @earl:
    I had connection errors too. When I get on the computer, I’ll let you know how I resolved it (assuming the error code is the same)

  13. #13 by This Is Funny on August 8th, 2008

    So,um if I understand this all correctly you people are whining about having to PRESS A BUTTON a few times? Seriously?! Are those extra seconds causing your life to go downhill or something? I dont get what the complaining is about.

  14. #14 by Dude on August 8th, 2008

    No im not just everyone knows americans are soo lazy and overweight . its fact .

    Yeh there life goes downhill for 2 seconds its terrible

  15. #15 by ehandlr on August 8th, 2008 [ 44542 Points ]

    Dude..you just defined prejudice/stereotype/being wrong all in one sentence.

  16. #16 by Graeme on August 8th, 2008

    I think you’re right, the XMB is lacking in so many small ways it all adds up to a less than fluid experience. Sony engineers should spend some time reading a GUI design handbook.

  17. #17 by mpz on August 8th, 2008

    Neither the shop nor the browser are the XMB either. Neither is some game’s use of it.

    It’s still the snappiest, most visually appealing and overall consistent ui i have ever used on any computer based machine. By a long way.

    If that’s all you can find to fault it …

  18. #18 by James on August 9th, 2008

    @earl:

    Alright, sorry for the delay, but here’s what I did.

    Go into Netwrork Settings, do a custom setup. Choose either wireless or wired (mine’s wired, so do your wireless setup until you get to the next part).

    In operation mode of network device, choose Manual Settings.

    On speed and duplex, choose Auto-Detect. On IP Address setting, choose manual.

    IP Address should be 0.0.0.0
    Subnet Mask 255.255.255.0
    Default Router 0.0.0.0
    Primary DNS 208.67.222.222
    Secondary DNS 208.67.220.220

    Now press X to save the settings. This solved my issue, assuming you had a DNS error 8070102 or something like that.

  19. #19 by Gary on August 10th, 2008

    I use a Mac exclusively and I’m not at all bothered about having to confirm multiple times before something can be downloaded or whatever.

    Shame I’m not American, lazy and overweight too…


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