Godmars290 (User)

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"I Just Want a Motherf***ing Starfox Clone!"

Console Disappointments: The PS3 Web Browser

Godmars290 | 1692d ago
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Welcome to the first in a possible series of submissions – if not articles depending on actual approval – about my opinion about certain aspects of this console generation. Perceived disappoints to be exact. I’ll try to keep them short, sweet and hopefully thoughtful.

First up: the PS3 browser. Something that I’ve defended on more than one occasion, given suggestion for sites to visit, but can only admit has problems. And while its far from being as good as the worst browser on a PC you can think of, as a casual use application I’ve found it good enough for an evening of Youtube rather than a few minutes in a chair and a monitor smaller than my TV. Accepted the reality it crashing for no real reason because as system updates came, the browser became more stable.

It also, at least on a site which is in assumed partnership with Sony, has allowed for direct video downloading from the console, become less accessible. Videos cannot be voted or comment on, searches can be run but anything other options also call up a search, direct management of personal accounts is impossible, and really oddly, videos in channel pages wont run. There also seems to have been a drop in picture quality which becomes obviously noticeable when an ad run at a higher resolution.

There is the alternative of YoutubeXL which was supposedly made specifically for the PS3, but its exactly as worthless as the main site has become. Useable but non-interactive. A problem that Youtube proper started to have soon after XL was introduced, and really strangely, one that kept recurring after a PS3 system update seemingly fixed the issue. In other words, the site went from working as it would in any other browser, to having function become inactive, to working properly once more after an update before turning semi-inactive again. To within literal days with updates eventually having no effect.

It took the rumored announcement of Youtube looking into the creation of an app similar to Netflix and Hulu for all consoles to suggest the obvious: that it was Youtube itself which was limiting the PS3’s browser to their site. From a business standpoint, especially if they decide to go with some pay-based model or limited exclusivity with this app they may eventually make, having one of the three gaming systems already having free and decent access would put them in a weak bargaining position. And blocking it overnight, suddenly reducing access to its actual current state, would just piss people off while telling them exactly why they were doing it. Better to lower the bar early.

BlipTV and Dailtymotion are other little mysteries that come to me. Don’t know if they both use the same streaming player, just that were once I could watch videos from them and associated sites directly, I haven’t been able to do so for close to two years. MP3 file content can be directly downloaded, but anything else has to be streamed from PC. Old phased out web code is likely to blame, but like the issues with Youtube there was a period where an update fixed the issue. Then another happened which brought it up again.

So where I’m sort of pointing a conspiratorial finger at Youtube for pulling a semi-Hulu, I’m outright stabbing it at Sony. Given that both sites host pirated content along with tons of legitimate web-shows – Spoony, That Guy With the Glasses – its not to far a stretch that such was done to control what content gets onto the PS3. And again, both these sites are about as well known as Youtube.

Now, I’m only offering my own opinion and conjecture, but if what I’m suggesting is true then this has more validity then OtherOS. Is something Sony has offered as open, yet for whatever reason – changes in management and policy – have covertly scaled back and are controlling. It also occurs to me that if Geohot and Anonon were even a fraction of the everyman hero they think they are, they’d look into the PS3;s browser code to see why it is what it is.

Oh well, so much for short...

Please note I'm not talking about the overall quality of the PS3's browser, but that it can and has been manipulated. Certainly by Hulu and Youtube, but possibly Sony as well. That it is at the quality that it is because its manipulatable. That if at all possible this should be shown and Sony made to answer for it because - in spirit at the very least - it was offered as an open platform.

Ingram  +   1692d ago
Absolutely agree, the infamous Netfront browser though better than nothing, is pure mainure.I've always wondered if Chrome is really that heavier, I find it hard to believe that is impossible to implement.Did Sony signed a whole generation contract for Netfront or what?

Also, youtubeXL, oh my...what have we done to deserve this?

Furthermore, most TV on demand channels using the same Netfront browser is...let's say very dissapointing.
#1 (Edited 1692d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Godmars290  +   1692d ago
What I'm basically saying is:

1) While offered as a free and open extension, Sony has the ability to limit the browser's accessibility just as 3rd parties such as Hulu - and Youtube - have shown that they can restrict it as well.

2) Given #1, there's little to no chance there'll ever be another browser app on the PS3.

3) Maybe this is a chance for hackers to positively express their energy and expose Sony's possible covert control. Embarrass them while setting president that could help in the otherOS case.

That, or get them to remove the browser, which will really make some noise.
Non_sequitur  +   1692d ago
Does anyone know what deal Sony made with the makers of Netfront? How do we know that Sony didn't come to agreement to use their browser for the entire generation?
Pedobear Rocks  +   1691d ago
Or...if the hackers had not been dicks we'd all still have OtherOS and could run a browser under linux....just sayin'
ultimate-remag  +   1692d ago
disappointment: xbox 360 NO WEB BROWSER....
Godmars290  +   1692d ago
Since the main hidden issue is about control of content, chances are slim to none that MS will never offer a web browser. They'll certainly try to get some exclusive time with a Youtube app if that ever happens, and XBL will be required.
trounbyfire  +   1692d ago
I love the ps3 browser. I use fackebook and twitter mobile and gmail and N4g.

my router broke so i am on my PC more that i like to be but a better browser would be nice
MidnytRain  +   1692d ago
But let's be honest, it could be alot better. It gets tiring having to put up with its random issues. Did you know I can't even view the PlayStation website properly? Certain sites like Gametrailers.com have been known to insta-freeze the console. At random moments, pages will load for indefinite periods of time. Sometimes this will even happen when loading just two pages. If the thing starts running into problems with only a couple of simple web pages, wh would they give me the option of opening five? Buttons on alot of pages don't even work (I can never click on the bottom link under "Forums" on the front page of N4G) and sometimes I'll get trapped in the keyboard window and be forced to turn off my PS3. I've also encountered the annoying issue of running out of memory. What's this? Too many complex websites open? Okay, I'll close one. But then it still doesn't have enough memory, so I'm forced to close another one. This repeats until I don't have any pages open. What sense does that make? If I had just one of those pages open, I would've been fine. But as soon as the max is reached, it's suddenly unable to process anything and makes me close all of them.

I really wish Sony could release a better web browser.
#4.1 (Edited 1692d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
BlackTar187  +   1691d ago
i have problems with Yahoo sports like fantasy and all that stuff. or you can't even go to NFL.com it will freeze. Although its free i agree it has issues but i guess that's why its free.
trounbyfire  +   1691d ago
WTF i said "a better browser would be nice"

get of my back
MidnytRain  +   1691d ago

I'm sorry if you felt offended by my post. I was criticizing Sony's decision with the web browser, not you. In fact, I didn't mention you in my post at all, so I don't know why you feel I was "on your back". I might have misunderstood you. Maybe you shouldn't let your sentences run together like that.
#4.1.3 (Edited 1691d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report
phalanx_mark  +   1692d ago
Netfront is used because of its small memory footprint no doubt but a customised version of firefox or chrome would be awesome. I think opera did an excellent job with the wii considering the constraints there! The most frustrating thing about using netfront on ps3 is using a dualshock rather than a mouse. Personally i use a keyboard/trackpad combi but I want a Move update Sony!
AllyOmega  +   1692d ago
Hey, if you want youtube on your PS3 (in HD, too!), check out PS3youtube.com. I use it all the time, and it works great! you can even download the videos if you want. it has its problems, but its 10x better than any other solution out there.
Aarix  +   1692d ago
When I had a PS3 I honestly Never used it. I had my ipod touch nearby to load a webpage or watch a youtube video in a snap.
QuodEratDemonstrandm  +   1692d ago
I have my Samsung moment nearby for the same reason.
Cajun Chicken  +   1692d ago
They really need to update it, hardly nothing loads up properly anymore. It was perfectly capable the first few years but all the websites are now moving to different formats and it's not much to do with Flash really.

If you think that's bad. You should try the PSP. Hardly nothing loads on that anymore. Webpages have really increased minimal memory required for viewing these days. Heck, even N4G doesn't load up properly on PS3 now.
guitar_nerd_23  +   1692d ago
I agree, the browser is pretty awful- though just about useable if your desperate. I thought the control scheme for it works pretty well though.

I think the XMB could do with some work too, I like the way it's designed mostly but it must be some pretty bloated code because its just for ever cacheing icons into place.
WitWolfy  +   1689d ago
It seems like the XMB was just an after thought and quick (ported) thrown together UI. Seriously a next gen console with a out dated UI which they're determined to cling to... REALLY?????

God I hate that XMB
thebudgetgamer  +   1691d ago
i won't even try to pretend the ps3 web browser is great, its barely passable but in the time i've owned the ps3 i have watched literally thousands of hours of my favorite tv shows and movies because of it.

and porn.
#10 (Edited 1691d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
WildArmed  +   1690d ago
ah, I was wondering, your fav. tv shows and movies fill about 100-200 hours..

The thousands of hours makes sense once you read your lil' post note: porn ;)
thebudgetgamer  +   1690d ago
gotta get rid of the poison.
Matadores  +   1691d ago
The guy of this article is a disappointment
yewles1  +   1691d ago
You guys know I'm one of the biggest victims of the PS3 web browser. I was all over Sony for dropping the ball on the PS3 Crackle launch because of that über restricted monster. So I agree 110%
walkerjhoonny   1689d ago | Spam
Killman  +   1689d ago
I have noticed that a great way to reduce problems with certain websites is to disable Javascript. Sites like N4G are hellish with it on but turn it off and it loads up quick. The browser does need an overhaul though, but its manageable for me.
DanielB  +   1687d ago
Whilst I may not be in Geohot's league (hard work is my secret, as opposed to raw talent), with the PS3 Bookmarklet I rebuild some of the standard YouTube pages so they work great in the browser (Subscriptions, Search Results, Category pages etc). It's not without issues, but that goes with the territory.

So, in the several months I have spent working with the browser and the standard YouTube site, have any found any conclusive evidence that YouTube is deliberately trying to sabotage the browser? In short "No".

To arrive at the unusable state YouTube is presently in (without bookmarklet), YouTube simply need to not test the site in the browser (which they are not obliged to do), as ALL browsers must be tested as they each have their own quirks (e.g. today, if you look at the subs pages in IE8, the video facets are overwriting each other - oops...). Again, I suspect the reason a good deal of features are not working, such as voting on a video, is because there is a long term bug in the browser's JavaScript engine that is preventing YouTube's script from running.

On the video quality, the reason the video resolution is capped at 240p is most likely because YouTube's video player is not efficient enough to both play videos and display the advertising they show within the video player (the video player used on PS3YouTube, JW Player, can handle 480p YouTube videos no problem in the PS3 Browser).
MrBubble  +   1681d ago
i find the browser is crap a little exaggerated

It gets the job done a updated version would be nice though

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