On first launch experiences

At work I see plenty of people booting their Macs for the first time. They launch the system, run through a couple of grey setup screens, asking them for wifi, country, language information. It lets them login with their AppleID, or lets them create one. It syncs all their data, and when they reach the end of this setup, they have a running system. A quick visit to the AppStore later, already logged in, and they can easily install some apps.

All in all, it takes fifteen minutes to go from unboxing to a working system. After using the machine for the rest of the day, they’ll probably see a popup for some updates, but they can work on it almost immediately.

This week, my girlfriend and I bought a Playstation 3. It booted fairly quickly, and I immediately put my Gran Turismo 5 disk in the machine. There was a voucher for some extra content in the box, so I navigated to the Sony Store to redeem the cars, circuits and power ups. And I saw my first dialog mentioning I needed Internet access to see the store. Navigating back to the main menu, and searching around for a while finally brought me to the network setup. Some fiddling with SSIDs and codes later, and I was finally able to launch the Store. Or so I thought. First I needed to download some updates… For the Store. When the Store was finally showing me its main screen, it prompted me for a Sony ID. Anyway, a short while later, I was finally ready to start racing.

So when I launched the game it told me it needed to install some data first. Wich sounded logical to me, when I want to open up iWork on a new Mac, I also need to install it first. So twenty minutes later, everything was installed and the game finally launched for real. Only to tell me that some updates are required in order to play the game. Couldn’t those be downloaded when I installed the game in the first place? We’re now more than an hour later, and the thing is still downloading, installing and whatever it thinks it needs to do. And apparently an error just occurred, so it’s needs to restart the process..

At this moment, I’m not at all impressed with Sony’s first launch experience. I’ve been seeing menu’s for forty minutes already and it’s still installing and loading. The green loading bars are nice and all, and it gave me a change to read the booklet twice, charge my remote and type this little rant, but I basically just wanted to race a little is afternoon.

So screw it, I’m off to see Man of Steel. Which just like my Mac also has a fifteen minutes launch experience, filled with movie trailers.