Sony's latest PlayStation 3 firmware update 2.4 brought what the fanboys have been crying about since the console's inception—in-game access to the console's Cross Media Bar (XMB). But I'll tell you something, in-game XMB is fine and dandy, yes, but there were more pressing issues that Sony should have fixed first. In fact, I count 10 of 'em (because a list of nine would get me fired).
Smarter Firmware Updates
Let me agree to terms and conditions—a tiny 1K file transfer—before downloading the whole software update. Then once the update downloads it can roll into an install without me having to push some stupid buttons on the controller.
Automatic Downloaded-Game Installation
We're really still manually installing most game and demo downloads? Seriously? No, seriously?
Real Keyboard Support
The PS3 "supports" a mouse and keyboard. But keyboard support is still not functional or assignable in most games. Some middleware solutions would be nice here, Sony. I should be able to play anything on a mouse and keyboard by mapping SIXAXIS/DualShock3 buttons.
In-Game Web Browsing
OK, so here's an instance where we can access the XMB while in a game, but we can't really access it. Because you can't browse the web while in a game. I'd love the option to look up walkthroughs...err...hints and tips without going to the computer.
Controllers Don't Charge Without PS3 "On"
Why do I need to leave on my entire PS3 to charge one controller? A firmware update could program the USB portion of the console to stay powered on while charging like, say, the Xbox 360.
Oh, I haven't forgotten. Though I'm becoming more bored by this once novel concept every day it doesn't appear.
Let's just stick all those account management menus into the PlayStation Store. That way if I need to make changes to my account (something that would probably be prompted by a transaction at the PS Store), I don't need to revisit dead grey screen land.
Background [email protected]
I'm as lazily, unconsciously altruistic as the next guy, so work with Stanford to make Folding @ Home even better. Let me use it as a background process for when I'm just hanging out on the dashboard, or browsing the PS Store. I know that playing some MP3s doesn't use all of the PlayStation 3's power, so let's use some of that extra number crunching to cure the world, or whatever.
Any game, any time, I want to be able to perform a screengrab. I want to then be able to save the screengrab to my photo library or message it to a friend. This software technology has long been figured out, and it'd be nice to have for showing everyone how awesome I am all the time.
Lower Power Standby
The PS3's primary standby mode is super low energy. But if you want to access Remote Play (XMB, pictures, etc) through the PSP, it's suddenly sucking as much power as five refrigerators just sitting there. Surely there is a clever way that the PS3 can be activated through an SMS or email system that would make it more eco-friendly than just being on all the time. Remote Play is not something I'll use every day. And because of that, I've turned off the function completely—which is a shame because it's a pretty incredible idea.
It's not that the latest firmware update is bad; it's that the whole interface is so pleasurable to use and packing so much customisation (for a console) that the rough spots can stand out even more. Come on, Sony, let's make the PS3 unbelievable.