Launched in 2006 the Playstation3 predates a sea-change in our technological lives. The world the Playstation4 was born into is a drastically different place.
Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat changed the way we communicate. Services like Netflix, Spotify and Youtube gave us new ways to find, pay for and consume media. Devices like the iPhone, Android Family and Roku provided us with new locations and methods for us to engage with these new experiences.
At its core Playstation is always about the games. Games are the platform’s strength and key differentiator. Nobody buys a console to experience its user interface.
But what does that mean for account creation or social activity? What does that mean when the player is away from home and their console?
2013 & 2014
For the console’s “home” experience we focused on getting our players’ to their destination, and fast. Content is presented in the order you last accessed it, presuming “today I want to continue the game I was playing yesterday”.
We tried to keep the same focussed ethos in other areas of the UI such as the social activity feed, the registration process and the companion app: wherever you are and whatever you are doing there is a clear path to a game.
Some features were more successful than others :)
2015 and Beyond
To preserve these clear paths I believe we need to embrace an asymmetric ecosystem and seek to put tools only where our players need them. The tools to discuss latest releases in a browser, to organize tonight’s match on a cell phone and to play the big games on the big TV at home.
And this isn’t just an extension of the platform. We also need to explore what it is to have content and player identities that extend beyond the the TV, changing and changing again to best fit each new context.