PS3′s New Netflix Interface: A Step Forward or Backward?

February 10, 2011

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 

The New

Opening Netflix screen on PS3

Selecting a movie to watch

Browsing episodes of a show

The Old

Related Posts:
Playstation Network Down! Alternate Netflix Devices
PS3 Netflix Client 2.0.5 Released

Tags: Netflix, Playstation3, PS3

31 Responses to PS3′s New Netflix Interface: A Step Forward or Backward?

  1. Anonymous on February 15, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    The new UI looks nice in your screencaps. However, on my PS3, the image is 'zoomed' in…meaning that the outer borders shown in your pictures was not visible. Look at your pictures and try imagining the menu starting a bit inside the red banner at the top, even the summary box gets cut off on the outer side. And this is with the PS3 set at 16:9 aspect.
    With a large queue, scrolling across 4 covers at a time is tedious. And exploring for titles not in the queue feels limited now. It wouldn't be so bad if they could alter it so you could access each genre as a page, beyond this main UI, to scroll thru screens of each genre quickly. But as you ask, this new interface is a step back from the old, which the Boxee Box now has-just added it Feb 14. Youtube video here-

  2. Anonymous on February 15, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    A couple of guys-one on Netflix's Facebook page, the other at the AVS Forum are reporting yet another UI after successfully deleting the app from their PS3s and shutting off then deactivating the console from the NF Accounts Online.
    AVS Forum linl to posts with pictures and video.
    Post number 844 and 846.

  3. The Hub on February 15, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    It's surprising how many different PS3 Netflix interfaces are in the wild. I find it strange that Netflix & Sony have turned us into guinea pigs for their UI testing. To most consumers, it seems it would be disruptive. It would be nice if folks could opt out or chose their own interface. Even with uninstalling/unregistering method discussed above, you're playing roulette, not knowing which interface your getting.

    After seeing the Boxee video yesterday, I'm excited to give their box a spin. It's impressive how fast their Netflix client started.

  4. Anonymous on April 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I don't understand. My interface looks like the "old" interface. I bought my PS3 in November 2010. I agree to all the updates. What gives?

  5. Wicked55 on June 7, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    After using the new interface on the PS3 and complaining to Netflix twice, I happen to use my little Vizio which still has the old interface. I didn't realize how many choices the new interface is obfuscating.
    I found a dozen movies quickly and easily, adding them to my Instant que so I could pull them up on the large TV later.
    This will be an OK short term solution but if a long term one isn't provided soon I too will drop my service and just use broadcast HD and HULU.

  6. Tom on June 7, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    New interface sucks. I'm moving on to Hulu or Vudu.

  7. John on June 7, 2011 at 5:57 pm


  8. Max on June 7, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    f*ck Netflix and Sony. Can't browse jack Sh*t with new interface. I am canceling my service.

  9. Anonymous on June 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    I don't understand. My interface looks like the "old" interface. I bought my PS3 in November 2010. I agree to all the updates. What gives?

  10. Data-1 on June 11, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    unusable. can't stand the over-sized images. can't find anything.  that scrolling is hurting my eyes. I've already canceled service.  Hulu plus is better when it comes to TV episodes anyway.

  11. Jacque LeClair on June 11, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Seriously Backward, entirely awful.

  12. Wraith on June 12, 2011 at 7:53 am

    My PS3 just now (6-12-11) got the "new" interface. I hate it. Where's the categories?

  13. Netlos on June 14, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    unusable crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Dstarw on June 15, 2011 at 8:15 am

    OMG I hate the new interface SOOOOOO much!!! Somehow ours got away with staying on the old interface till about a week ago.  Where the hell did my Watch It Again feature go?!!!  Now I have to search instead?  Bullsh*t!  I love Netflix and wish they would stop f***ing with it!

  15. Dstarw on June 15, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Who cares?!! Just be glad it hasn't changed yet!

  16. AAmante on June 16, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    I've $h!t better interfaces than what Netflix just put out… it sucks.  I loved the older interface.  This one makes me want to turn off and watch cable.  On demand cable is looking better and better every day that this interface stays in existence.

    I hate it… I hate it… I hate it.I don't know if I've made myself clear enough.  It sucks, it's booty, it's the ass crack on a hairy fat plumber.

    Okay… that's not fair to the plumber.

  17. Greg on June 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm

     Yes, the new interface is definitely a step back, if they wanted to implement this new interface they should have at least made it an option to use the old style interface as well.  I can no longer effectively browse titles on my PS3 by genre.

    It's like moving from a directory stuctured knowledge-base to a keyword search one.  Unless you know exactly what your looking for it's impossible to find relevant things.

  18. Guest on June 27, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Aweful.  I have epileptic seizures, and was browsing movies as they fly across the screen the other night, and went into f'n convulsions!  I kid you not!

    For health reasons, I'm seriously considering canceling this crap. 

    Who do they hire to make the decisions????????

  19. chris on June 30, 2011 at 3:46 am

    The biggest damage happened to the ability to sort by rating. Now, you have to mouse over every. single. title. to find out that it only has two stars instead of being able to avoid it altogether. Also, the scrolling function is frustrating and slow.

  20. Jd01011 on July 3, 2011 at 12:23 am

    I haven't seen it mentioned here, but along with all of the previous complaints, I now cannot watch a show while searching for another.  The previous UI I could minimize the viewing window while looking through various titles. No more. 

  21. chubbs on July 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    it's basically a big O'll bunch of shit they've laid on our laps. today was the first day I'd seen it (on my own console) and today was the first day I stopped watching netflix on my ps3.
    I'll probably keep it cause my computer screen is a 32" and I can still watch online but as far as the console is concerned unless or until they stop thinking they're brilliant ideas of changing shit up without at the the very least sending us a message about it well, gaming is enough for now I think.

  22. Jacob Kloutier on July 12, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    I canceled my account because of this.

  23. Listercoleman on July 12, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Price is going up also….by $5 a month!! The billing will be split into two…DVD's and instant streaming now separated and whereas I was paying $14.95pm for 2 DVD's and unlimited streaming… it's $19.95. With all their customers $5 is a whole lotta money for them….and no benefit to the customer. Nothing new or cool for the $60 a year.

  24. Listercoleman on July 13, 2011 at 12:11 am

    To be fair you can get the streaming only for $7.95 pm with no DVD's……BUT I liked the pricing for the plan I had before that included 2 DVD's out at a time, unlimited. It seemed fair. 

    That, along with this new interface sucks!! I cannot "see" off the side of my screen. I putzed with it for a long time trying to figure out what I did wrong with the remote.

    Yeah, corporate greed kicking in maybe, some suit in there making stupid changes to something that was working fine and jacking up the price.

    I know they have overhead, but with more than 23 million members……..X a $5 increase per month per account (that had the 2 DVD plan before)…….. that's one heck of a lot of money each month isn't it?

  25. Whocares on July 14, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I canceled my Netflix subscription because of it. Hopefully they'll get a clue before too much longer…

  26. Listercoleman on July 14, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Not only a horrific raise in the rates but does anyone notice that a lot of movies previously available to watch instantly are now only available as a DVD?

    Is it likely that since many people will quit the DVD plan and keep streaming only, that Netflix will reduce the amount of titles available? 

  27. Prowler9000 on July 15, 2011 at 3:54 am

    The interface is really clean and has some pros. Overall it has a step backwards. I always laughed at the Wii Console Interface because of the hassle to have to view left and right as opposed to the PS3 console where you could see up to 12-16 movies at a time. If they would have just cleaned it up while still keeping the many genres and sub-genres it would have been kind of cool. Imagine, having the list of clickable genres, as well as the really cool menu when you click on the titles. Convert back to the old, while still retaining some of the new ideals is what I say. (Bring back the Genres and Sub-Genres) I feel very limited now in my browsing.

  28. Arch on July 16, 2011 at 2:31 am

    cancelled account bcuz of this

  29. Ashamock on July 28, 2011 at 8:03 am

    It sucks
    No genre based search ….really ???
    I will discontinue

  30. Ash on October 30, 2011 at 3:41 am

    Why do people buy Sony anymore? They are no longer quality, their products are cheap garbage, obvious from looking, touching and using. And the UI/UX on all their products is horrendous! Sony is playing all their customers for fools, stop buying. I know i'm done.

  31. [...] for rolling out interface updates without user knowledge or consent. PlayStation 3 owners were upset at the Netflix interface change earlier this year, and now nearly 5,000 diehard Netflixers are [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect to the Hub

Support the Hub