Hands up if you use the PlayStation App? It was pretty rubbish, right? We had it installed on our iPhone, but we barely used it because it was slow and functionally quite poor. All of the messaging features were contained in a separate app, and the PS Store effectively booted a Safari page. Yeah, you could see what your friends were up to, but it wasn’t particularly useful beyond that.
While we’ve criticised the Japanese giant for completely ruining the browser-based PS Store, though, we have to give it credit for its update to the PS App. Released on iOS and Android overnight, this is a substantial improvement that actually gives the companion client purpose – and it’s something we can suddenly see ourselves using a lot.
First and foremost, all messaging has been integrated into the app itself. Yes, it’s all designed around this controversial new Party system – which Sony has already said it’s reconsidering after some pretty robust feedback from fans – but having all your conversations available on your phone makes communication very simple and straightforward wherever you are.
The user interface is really slick, with a strip showing what your friends are playing, and then your most recently played games beneath it. You can click on your games and get an overview of your progress, including Trophies. And there’s a button which takes you to any Add Ons for the game, which you can purchase through the PS Store. More on that later.
There’s also a section for news, which integrates posts from the PS Blog. Unfortunately, these take you out of the app and to your favourite browser; it’d be nice if the platform holder could find a way to integrate this content directly into the app itself. Maybe in the future it’d even be possible to create deep links into the PS Store, so you can buy whatever game you’re reading about.
Because the PS Store is now part of the app itself. This does come with some caveats: it’s using the new browser-based design. That means that content doesn’t have text titles, which is a weird omission. We’re going to assume that the Japanese giant is still working on all of this, but you can already see how this is going to be a massive quality of life enhancer once it’s all polished up.
We’ve also been testing the PS App in collaboration with the PS5, and while embargoes mean we can’t talk too much about that, it’s pretty well integrated. For example, you can now manage your content from your phone, meaning you can delete files remotely if you need to free up storage space – and of course, you can manage your downloads as well.
Overall, we can see ourselves using this new app a lot, where the previous version wasn’t particularly useful at all. This feels much better connected with the overall PlayStation ecosystem, and it brings together a lot of crucial features in a relatively well-designed package. The new PS Store web store has proved a disappointment so far, but the PS App gives us a glimpse of where Sony’s going.
What are your thoughts on the new PS App? Can you find yourself using this more than the previous version? Are you happy with the fresh features that have been added? Tap out your thoughts in the comments section below.