Oh no. I’ve been sticking with my old computers because I wanted nothing to do with Windows 8 and it’s strange layout, but it seems it will get me either way. It’s not Microsoft that’s forcing me into a world of boxes though, it’s Sony and the PS4. Sony’s shared more images of the PS4 GUI (graphic user interface) and it’s giving me chills. It’s like I’m looking at Windows 8’s distant cousin, and I don’t like it.
See, I’m a simple kind of girl. I long for streamlined elegance. Hence, the PS3 was absolutely perfect for me. I loved the XMB, with everything perfectly organized. There’s no clutter, unless I choose to muck up the background with an extremely busy theme. (Which I don’t. It’s usually the dynamic Sonic 4 or Flower theme.) Aside from the mandatory ticker under time and date in the upper right corner, there are no advertisements or announcements of friends’ activities shouting at me. It’s all there, but inobtrusive. I like it. Simple and clean. (Hey, like that awesome Kingdom Hearts theme!)
But now, we’ve got a Windows 8, Xbox style GUI in Sony’s initial PS4 screenshots. What’s up with that? I mean, look up at the top of the article for a second. That’s a PS4 GUI example. Now, look at the Windows 8 GUI.
That’s far too similar for me. And Sony shouldn’t be going for anything even remotely resembling that look. The company should be trying to stand out and make the PS4 look distinctive, and not copycat its competitor. Instead of going for such a drastic step from the XMB to this GUI, there should have been a more gradual shift. Maybe retain some XMB elements, but have this GUI show up if someone, say, clicks a social tab.
Of course, gradual seems unlikely. Especially since the PS4 GUI is also going to embrace the (awful) new look of the PlayStation Store. Just check out this Knack page on the PS4 GUI. Yes, if someone wants to go and start Knack, it seems you’ll have to first look at this lovely page.
Looks a lot like a Windows 8/Xbox 360 page, doesn’t it? Listen, if I’m launching a game, I don’t care about what trophies I’ve recently earned, what extra DLC items I can get, video footage or who’s playing it. (Okay, if it’s a multiplayer game, maybe I care who’s also online.) Really, I just want to play the game. With the PS3, PSP and Vita, I can do that. I scroll to the name, press X and I’m there. Or tap an icon, tap start and I’m set. The initial PS4 GUI images look like they’ll be shoving unwanted content in my face.
These are preliminary PS4 GUI screenshots Sony has shared, so there’s always the chance things could change. At least, I hope they do. I really prefer the streamlined appearance of the PS3 XMB and would hate to be forced into a PS4 GUI that reminds me of my least favorite PC OS.