Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How the PS3 internet browser sucks

It's nice having access to the wider internet via the PS3 rather than just those applications the manufacturer thinks we should have access to ([cough] Microsoft XBox360), but boy does the PS3's browser suck if you want to do anything beyond passive viewing of static screens.

I'll start with the basics - the PS3 browser by default starts with a home page that you can set and allows up to six tab/windows open at the same time. Not that different really from many mobile browsers; well not that different except for all the parts that don't work correctly.

The first irritation is that you cannot open the browser to anything other than a designated home screen - you can't select the browser icon and type in an address; you have to wait for the browser to open and then to fetch the home page and then type an address. Why this is such a problem will become apparent due to the other faults I'll come to.

Of course one can use the search function instead - provided that a) the only search engine you want to use is Google and b) if you've set the language to English (United Kingdom) you don't mind getting the Japanese search results (since the latest updates).

Javascript is a major problem (to the extent I normally switch it off). Load up a page such as a game wiki and then open a link to the same site in another tab. If that site uses javascript it is impossible to do anything in the original tab until the new tab has finished loading.

This combines with a problem of cancellation. In a "normal" browser if a page is taking too long to load one can hit the Stop/Cancel and get on with something else - not with the PS3 browser.

First off hitting cancel only cancels one of the tasks. If you load up something like iGoogle each of those widgets is its own task. Hit cancel and it'll stop loading the main iGoogle page, but will continue to honour the request made by the widgets. If the page has adverts loaded from an external site those are their own tasks too.

Secondly hitting cancel may still not allow you to do anything. It seems the cancel only kicks in once the server responds. Get a site that isn't responding and no amount of hitting cancel will actually cancel it.

Thirdly if you're cancelling a tab which is from the same site as another tab; that other tab may no longer work with respect to any javascript - because you've cancelled the loading of it.

As you can't do anything in that other tab until the other is loaded you might as well wait until it's finished, except you won't know when that's happened because the browser will only update the display for the currently selected tab.

It gets even better because the tabs won't cancel properly if you just close down that tab or even the entire browser the entire system can lock up because it's waiting for an acknowledgement that it either won't be getting or can't deal with since you've closed the browser.

You won't be able to even return to the XMB without powering down the entire system.

In fact you can manage that lock-up another way using the in-built keyboard screen. Use the search boxes a lot of sites provide and if it uses some form of javascript that the PS3 can't handle the system becomes unusable. You can't close the keyboard screen because it can't return a value to the browser, you can't access the XMB because having the keyboard screen open prevents it; and you can't close the browser because the keyboard screen is still open and uses the same button to close. Power down the entire system

In short the PS3's implementation of this browser is a huge pile of shit that had it been included on a mobile phone would result in a complete drubbing for the manufacturer. We're up to the fourth iteration of the OS and it's still crap - hell it won't even play YouTube videos in anything over 240p and then still has problems syncing audio and video.


newandroider said...

Sony has never cared about web browser. The Vita's web browser is even worse

FlipC said...

Glad I don't have one of them then.

There was the recent update when they switched the renderer out for Web-Kit, but it's still the internet's heavy reliance on javascript and Flash that kill it.

Sam Mascall said...

In todays times this browser should be much better...cant handle the simplest of websites...poor show really...ive got my ps3 linked up to my home cinema and would be nice to run Youtube and listen to music without mega hassle

FlipC said...

Well what can you say about a browser that's so bad even the manufacturer stopped using it? Why do you think the Store is now an app?

Anonymous said...

Hell yeah .. it make Internet explorer look good and this is the only good point. That point go to Microsoft and not even the ps3 users! lame

Anonymous said...

I agree with pretty much everything in this post, the PS3 in general is quite reliable but that ends as soon as the web browser gets involved.

In theory it's a great idea but in my experience the only website it works well on is the PS3 version of the official PlayStation website.

Everything else is either passable at best or freezes/crashes the PS3 at worst. I shouldn't have to boot up my laptop to check if a website is 'safe' to use in the PS3 browser beforehand.

I wouldn't mind the lack of Flash support and things like that, I just want the websites to load up and work well, I've had better experiences in the older versions of Internet Explorer than with the PS3's browser.

Anonymous said...

who cares? (youtube is an app on ps3 now xD) its made for gaming... GAMING

Anonymous said...

no offence but saying who cares it's for gaming is stupid. that's like buying a tv that has shitty speakers and saying who cares it's for watching. why have anything if it does not function properly. if a browser is a part of the systems features it should at "LEAST" function with average applications and sites.

Anonymous said...

2013 and it still sucks, but I guess it's worth it as it's a great way to download movies.

Anonymous said...

2014 and it still sucks, I have the newest PS3 too which actually turns out to be more shitty than all of the previous. Sonys moved on to ps4

Anonymous said...

almost 2015 and it still sucks, nothing has been fixed.

Anonymous said...

Halfway to 2016. Kinda wanted to watch something on crunchyroll but nope. I cant even figure out how to get to the url bar

Aahnold said...

18 days to 2016.. Sony has abandoned PS3. Yellow Dog + Firefox, anyone?

Anonymous said...

real talk that's how the internet gets ya lol. sounds nuts im sure but everything upgrades so you have to upgrade even though the differences are non noticeable by the common eye. I use to watch movies an stream shit from you tube an go to watch dbz .com or something like that watched ever dragonball an dragonball z episode an all dbz movies like this an at some point you could even download porn with zero trouble. now you cant do one fucking thing on the damn thing havnt been able to since about 2011