I think we may have figured out what was behind that extended PlayStation Network maintenance recently. Sony just launched the online desktop version of the Sony Online Entertainment store in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. This is the same kind of store we saw being tested in Europe back in December. From now on, you no longer have to go to the PlayStation Store on your PS3 or Vita to purchase games, movies and television shows. All your purchasing can be done from the Sony Network Entertainment website on your computer.
This is a feature that is way overdue for the PlayStation brand. Companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google have been doing this for quite some time. Still, it’s better late than never I suppose.
Here’s how it works. The SEN website contains everything that you would find on the PlayStation Store. You add things you would like to purchase to your cart, and go through the checkout process when you’re done. After the transaction is complete, the things you purchased will be added to your “download list” from the account management section on the XMB, or the “my downloads” section of the PlayStation Store. If you purchased a movie or TV show, you’ll be able to watch it on PC and Sony’s Xperia smartphones and tablets. Sadly, automatic downloads is not supported at this time. Sony will enable this feature in a future update.
I tested out the web store by purchasing The House of the Dead: Overkill Extended Cut. Everything worked as expected. In fact, I’d say buying things from the web store is faster than using the console since the PlayStation Store still suffers from a bit of lag.
Source [Sony Entertainment Network Store]