12 Ways To Improve the PS3, Plus 7 Extras

By Mike on 9:27 am

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CNET had an interesting article titled "12 Ways to Make the PS3 Perfect". It still is one of the best off-the-shelf HTPCs on the market as well as being a great game console but it does have its flaws. Lets start with a rundown of CNET's suggestions and then I'll add my own.

1. Make System Updates and Downloads Faster:
CNET says how tediously slow downloading updates for the system is. Personally I don't have a problem with this since I doubt my desktop would be much faster given my internet connection.

2. Allow Wireless Controller to be Recharged When System is Off
This is a biggie. One of the problems with the Bluetooth controller is that the PS3 must be on for you to recharge it. The PS3 is always in standby unless you turn the switch at the back off so I don't see why this couldn't be done. Alternatively, you can charge through any USB enabled device and AC-DC recharge stations can be bought.

3. Improve the Browser
The PS3's browser sucks as CNET rightly points out. The interface is terrible and it doesn't always display web pages correctly. It uses NetFront, same as the PSP. My suggestion would be to go with Opera like Nintendo did, or better yet, use Firefox. We know from PSUbuntu that Firefox runs on Cell hardware.

4. IR Support
A common complaint is that the PS3 doesn't have IR support, meaning most universal remotes won't work with it. You can buy third party IR dongles already but you can't use them to turn the system on. My suggestion would be for Sony to offer its own IR dongle and update the firmware to include a USB wake-up function similar to the one used for Bluetooth devices.

5. Offer Bluetooth Headset or Bundle
I don't really have anything to say about this. CNET wants a BT headset bundled with an SKU or a Sony made one. While bundling is a good idea, there are plenty of third party headsets out there that Sony really doesn't need to release a PS3 specific one.

6. Support Skype
Interesting but not really necessary. The PSP supports Skype VOIP telephony but I don't think the PS3 really needs to. However, with BT headset support, it could be useful for some.

7. Revamp the GUI for Movie Watching
Some people don't like the PS3's user interface for watching movies. I've never had a problem with it though.

8. Offer PS2 Backwards Compatibility with all SKUs
Removing BC from the 40gb model was controversial. Personally, with the software BC in the 80gb, I think this is pretty much a given. The 40gb might simply lack the emulator so offering it either for free or even for money through the PS Store would be nice for 40gb owners.

9. Add video chat
Sony apparently has had this in the works using the PSeye as a webcam but is dragging their behind on it.

10. Add Netflix Support
We don't get Netflix in Canada so I couldn't care less. However, the Xbox 360 already offers downloadable TV through it's XBL Marketplace. This is a major segment where the PS3 lacks. However, the PlayTV is coming this fall in Europe, which will essentially turn the PS3 into a DVR. Sony has noted that the PlayTV files will be DRM free for easy sharing and transcoding.

11. Add Rhapsody Support
Streaming internet radio. Sony already put internet radio into the PSP so I don't know why this was listed under "Pure Fantasy". Support for ShoutCast or even commercial internet radio such as XM Online would be nice.

12. Add Slingbox Support
The PS3 already has features similar to Slingbox through LocationFree TV. LocationFree is not very popular even though it can stream live TV to your PSP or computer from anywhere in the world. I'd personally prefer to see an ATSC tuner released for the PSP though so you could watch live TV anywhere regardless of Wifi connectivity. The LocationFree is significantly more expensive than Slingbox, which would explain why nobody has it.

Now for my own additions.

13. Add a clock and calendar
The PSP has a clock and calendar in the XMB yet the PS3 doesn't for some unknown reason. I would really like to know what time it is when I'm playing. What kind of system like this these days doesn't have a clock.

14. Better Codec Support
The PS3 is a media powerhouse but it still skimps on the codecs. Adding DivX and DTS-HD Master Audio was a big thing for video but audio is still lacking. Namely, I would like to see support for lossless formats. Patent free codecs such as FLAC could easily be implemented.

15. In-game Keyboard and Mouse Support
The PS3 does allow you to use any USB or Bluetooth keyboard and mouse as it is, to control the XMB and web browser. However, I'd like to see it supported through more games. First person shoorters are far easier using these input devices rather than DualShock 3.

16. More Game Genre Variety
Most games coming out on the PS3 are first/third person shooters and driving games. Game quality is improving but we just don't have the variety. Sony needs to encourage different genres such as platformers, adventure games, and flight simulation beyond the shooter-driving mix. Adding retro games to the PS Store like Nintendo did with their Virtual Console on the Wii would be nice. I'm talking from other consoles besides PS1, such as Sega Genesis or even (gasp) Dreamcast games like Sonic Adventure.

17. In-game XMB
I'm really just paying lip service to the fanboys with this one. Pretty self explanatory. Gamers want in-game XMB, particularly for chat purposes.

18. Bundled HD Cables
This one is so freaking obvious. Sony still does not bundled HD cables with the console even though it's marketed specifically as an HD gaming device and BD player. It comes with just a composite video cable and RCA audio connectors for connection to an SDTV. Would it really kill Sony to throw in a $5 HDMI or component cable, or both(!) with the system? The Xbox 360 Premium and Elite SKUs do.

19. RSS Reader/Widgets
The PSP has one, sort of. RSS 2.0 allows audio and video streaming. Sony added their own reader that just displays Sony news but I would like to see full RSS functionality. Some functions such as live weather could even be integrated into the XMB.

1 comments for this post

absolutely, what i like to see is a bit multitasking. you can't even play music while playing. the 'multitasking' that is allready in there, only supports messaging, which sucks. and secondly, while not nececerry, is last fm support, scrobbling. this is the main reason why i don't listen music on the ps3.

Posted on 6 April 2011 at 11:37