New PS3 Firmware Degrades User Experience

This post was published more than a few years ago (on 2010-03-29) and may contain inaccurate technical information, outmoded thoughts, or cringe takes. Proceed at your own risk.

I’ve had a PS3 for a almost three years now, and I love it. Not so much for games, but I use it as a Blu-ray player more than anything else. And it was a really good BD player. It’s fast and responsive, unlike most other BD players I’ve tried. Its best feature, perhaps, was that you could start with the PS3 in standby mode, insert a disc, and that would start up the PS3 and immediately start autoplay of the BD. A wonderful, fast, uncluttered user experience for BD playback.

However, with the latest PS3 firmware update, the PS3 no longer will autoplay if you insert the disc when it is in standby mode. You have to start the PS3, wait for it to finish the startup sequence, and then insert the disc for autoplay to work. I have scoured the menus for a setting that may have changed, but cannot find any setting that will restore the original functionality.

The real issue, more so than the BD autoplay (however annoying), is that when it starts up, it now no longer highlights whatever menu I actually left it on the last time I used it. Instead, it now always starts up showing me ads for things that are available on the PlayStation Network. So, the user experience has been corrupted just so that Sony can advertise to me, which pisses me off more than anything else. I already paid for the PS3. I don’t want your downloadable crap. I just want to play my BDs.

I’ve written to Sony Customer Support to see if perhaps there is indeed a menu setting I missed that can bring back my beloved “autoplay from standby” UX. Response pending. I suppose if the response is negative, the next step is investigating how I can downgrade the firmware, if that’s even possible. A sad prospect, spending hours of research and hacking to un-break something which was broken in the name of greed.