After posting our comprehensive Netflix player review, the PlayStation 3′s Netflix interface suddenly changed. At first I thought Sony or Netflix was making the Hub a guinea pig for their well know testing of different Netflix interfaces. After doing some research, it appears that many or all PS3 users had their Netflix interfaces switched. In particular, when Hacking Netflix featured our Netflix player review, several folks commented that their interface had also changed. Also, the official Netflix help twitter account @Netflixhelp acknowledged the PS3 Netflix client had been updated and there was no way to undo it on a particular console. How unfortunate!
So, what’s done is done. The core functionality of the PS3 Netflix client has not changed, just the interface. While there are likable elements in the new interface, overall, it’s a step backward. For one, the high level categories are gone which provided a quick jumping point to the different parts of the Netflix catalog. Now, we have to scroll up and down between all of the categories. On the positive side, like the Roku, the new PS3 interface displays how many titles are in the particular row that you are browsing.
It appears Sony and Netflix are attempting to have everything accessible from one screen to keep it simple (the exception being search). As you browse through the catalog even fewer titles are displayed on the screen since movie descriptions are also displayed (four per row instead of five). Less information is displayed about a show. I do like that a thumbnail image of where you left off is now displayed. It’s also nice how you can browse through the episodes of a show’s season. On balance, I’m a fan of the old interface. Maybe it will just take time getting used to. Maybe I would like to have the ability to customize my Netflix interface. What do you think?
Update (10-19-2011): Go to PS3 Netflix Client 2.0.5 Released for the latest news on this subject
|Opening Netflix screen on PS3|
|Selecting a movie to watch|
|Browsing episodes of a show|