Sony’s PlayStation 3 (PS3) platform may have been a success for the Japanese electronic giant, but one of its promoted features continues to let customers down: a web browser powered by Internet Explorer 6 (IE6).
I may be a rare PS3 buyer as one of my core reasons with going with the platform was the promise of being able to add full web browsing to my television. I watch a lot of web video, and the PS3, as well as offering great gaming and other features, stood out because it is promoted as offering a full web browser. Since buying a PS3 in November 2009, I’ve used my PS3 primarily to access web content…until mid way through last year.
What I didn’t know when I purchased the PS3 is that the browser is IE6, Microsoft’s now antique internet browser which no longer works with a range of video sites, be that due to either lack of modern support, or as the case has been with many sites, those sites have withdrawn support for IE6 and no longer allow IE6 users to view their content.
I knew something was up the day I hit a site I visit regularly, and a box popped up telling me I had to upgrade to a newer browser to view the content without allowing me to proceed; clearly the site is pitching this at people visiting on computers, but the PS3 has no ability to install an alternative browser.
PS3 users are simply stuck waiting for Sony to update the browser, and when that might happen is at best a guess. Rumors of an upgrade started mid way through 2010, and yet despite several PS3 updates since that time, the browser remains untouched.
Although this might sound like a personal gripe, I’m not alone in suffering as the PS3 boards are full of people complaining about the browser for the same reasons, with some even suggesting that hacking the PS3 is the only alternative at this time. I’m not advocating hacking, and I’m not touching my PS3, but at a time where Sony is desperately trying to stop PS3 hacking, giving users a reason to hack their machines doesn’t sense.
My immediate solution has been to buy an additional video card and a 6m long cable for my Mac Pro so I can use by television as a third monitor so as to view the content I want without having to use the PS3. That’s not an option for many people, and I shouldn’t have to resort to such a solution when the PS3 I purchased promised to offer this functionality, but continues to fail to do so.
Please Sony, wake up and listen to your customers, and update the PS3 browser as a matter of urgency. Every PS3 user who is experiencing these issues is creating negative publicity for you, and it will eventually hurt your bottom line.