The PlayStation Store is big business for Sony. While software continues to retain a retail presence, we’re teetering perilously on the edge of a dramatic swing towards digital – and the PlayStation 4’s premium plaza is poised to clean up. The Japanese giant already rakes in unfathomable sums of money through the online storefront, and with such big bucks swirling, we reckon it’s time that the platform holder enhanced the entire shopping experience.
Wish upon a wishlist
The PlayStation Store has a wishlist, but you can’t access it on the PS4 itself. Perhaps one of the machine’s most bizarre omissions, a simple wishlist would allow you to keep track of any games you’ve got your eye on. This could then be shared with friends, who may even be generous enough to “gift” you a title or two – more on that later. Sony could also send you notifications based on your wishlist, directing you to sales or price changes perhaps.
The gift of games
Most online storefronts allow you to gift products to other users – apart from the PlayStation Store, of course. With more and more of us switching to digital, it’d be nice if Sony allowed us to give and receive games to each other without having to go through the rigmarole of purchasing PlayStation Network credit and exchanging 12-character codes. Paired with the abovementioned wishlist this could be a very powerful feature – and a good money-spinner for the manufacturer to boot.
Search your heart
Not everyone hates the PlayStation Store’s search tool, but many do. The feature has some nifty functionality, predicting the name of the game you’re searching for and adapting the character roll as a result. But it’s inefficient and incongruent with the rest of the PS4’s user interface; more frustrating is that it doesn’t always work as it's supposed to.
Refund the difference
Without delving into the legality too deeply, refunds are generally a right for the majority of products depending on where you live. Well, apart from on the PlayStation Store anyway. Valve’s Steam has led the way in this department, with Microsoft recently following in the firm’s footsteps. Sony mustn’t get left behind. There are headaches to consider here – how much game time is fair before a refund should be refused, for example? But any policy is better than none at all in our eyes.
Sony’s improved the discoverability of major games on the PlayStation Store, but so many others fall through the cracks. With dozens of new releases every single week, the plaza does a poor job of tailoring itself to the tastes of individuals and, on a base level, simply showing what’s new. In order for the storefront to flourish, this is the single biggest problem that the platform holder must solve – it’ll be interesting to see how the design evolves in 2018.
How do you think Sony can improve the PlayStation Store in 2018? What are your pet peeves when you visit the plaza, or do you think it’s practically perfect these days? Add to basket in the comments section below.