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Sony : No plans to change XML or offer Netflix service   11 -07- 2009

Sony PSP
The console war has been waged in terms of many things, from features, to online services, to price, or in terms of statements made by various executives from either Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo.
One of the things with which the PlayStation 3 can boast is its XMB (XrossMediaBar, pronounced CrossMediaBar), which is much more intuitive than the one featured in the Nintendo Wii or Xbox 360, and has even won a few awards. It spans almost all of the devices currently made by Sony, from electronics like HDTVs or cameras to the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Portable.

While the Xbox 360 received a user interface revamp, in the form of the New Xbox Experience. After Microsoft's successful launch of the NXE (New Xbox Experience), GamePro had a few questions to ask Sony if thinking about doing a similar overhaul to the XMB interface.

"What we find is that people really like our current interface," he said. "We did redesign the PlayStation Store last April to make some improvements, make it faster, make it better, and we're always listening to consumers. But right now the XMB is an Emmy Award-winning interface and people like it. They're very comfortable with it. So we're not looking to do anything radical. We'll still do some research behind the scenes and see what can we do to make things better, or how can we make it so consumers find content faster, but right now we're pretty happy with it. No plans right now to do anything like what the competitor has done."

One of the big changes added to the NXE was the addition of Netflix streaming support. However, it doesn't appear Sony will offer a competitor to the service any time soon. "We've concentrated most of our efforts on our download service, both rentals and downloads of movies and TV shows. Our efforts will continue to be there, because our customers want to own the content." Netflix offers users access to a large number of titles to stream for a monthly fee; Sony's model allows users to buy the content a la carte. While we wish Sony would also offer an unlimited rental service for the PlayStation Store, there is an alternative that we've been using lately: Hulu.

So, there you have it, Sony fans, the XMB is here to stay, and it's probably a great thing, as, although the PlayStation 3 has a high price, all of its users can easily navigate its features and functions thanks to the friendly user interface.

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