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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…