Sonyís PlayStation Network service has seen some pretty substantial enhancements since its inception in November 2006. From incremental updates to must-needed additions such Trophies and in-game XMB, most of what weíve seen has been met with open arms by the community and resulted in a far more robust PSN offering for gamers.
However, there still remains an abundance of tweaks that Sony could implement to improve its flagship online service. And, with PS3 approaching its five-year anniversary and chatter on next-generation consoles doing the rounds as of late, PSU thought weíd take a look at five must-have improvements that Sony should think about rolling out for PSN between now and the arrival of the PS3ís successor.

5. A new web browser

Letís be honest here -- the current PlayStation 3 web browser is a bit of a joke. It's very slow, difficult to use, and in desperate need of an upgrade. Frankly, the only thing the current PS3 web browser is good for is surfing for porn safely. Why Sony felt it was a good idea to implement an unknown, outdated browser into a sleek beast like the PS3 is beyond our comprehension. Itís like putting a Ford Pinto engine in a Ferrari. In place of the current system, we would much rather see something like Google Chrome, with full extension support being utilized.

4. Real Auto-syncing of Trophies

While weíll admit that the latest firmware update is a step in the right direction, it still isnít sufficient. With the current system - provided you have PlayStation Plus that is Ė you still need to activate auto updates before it can be used, which means that it will only sync your Trophies once a day. Let's not forget that there is no option to just auto-sync Trophies, meaning it will also be downloading products off the PlayStation Store that you might not even want. Ideally, we would prefer to see Sony roll out this feature to everyone, though if they are adamant about limiting it to PS Plus users only, then a few tweaks wouldnít go a miss. Essentially, the feature should synch your Trophies with your profile every time you stop playing a game Ė this is something we feel needs to be implemented before making the jump to next-gen.

3. Cloud Gaming
Cloud gaming would mean that you no longer need to download a demo or PlayStation Network title to be able to play it. You would simply buy it off the store, add it to your list of games on your XMB, and start playing it. The product would then start to stream instantly to your PS3. Now, we understand this might sound like a tall order, and there are a number of reasons this might not work for everyone. However, for those of us with high speed connections Cloud Gaming would prove a valuable commodity. No need to wait for the game to download and then install, as your content would stream directly off of Sony's servers. Instant gaming at your fingertips!

2. More Robust PSN Profile

The current PSN Profile system on the PS3 is OK, but thatís all it is - just OK. We would love to see Sony really open this up, and give the friends list and profile system a much needed overhaul. Here are few things we would love to see added.

-Being able to comment on another userís profile

It would be great to have some type of chat box available, where you can go have a quick chingwag with a mate just by clicking on his/her profile. We highly dislike the fact that we need to check our messages, read it, reply, over and over, just so we can set up a game session.

-Being able to upload a photo and use it as your avatar picture

We will admit there are a lot of cool avatars out there, but we wouldn't mind the option of using our own photos as our avatar picture, a feature that has become a staple in virtually every single online profile system out there. A bit of a no-brainer, really.
-Friends list grouping

The current friends list system is incredibly cumbersome. Cycling through 100s of friends just to find the one you actually play games with isnít exactly a barrel of laughs; in fact, itís downright monotonous. Instead, we would love the option to set up groups, and throw our close gaming friends in one group, and leave the rest in a separate category.

1. Cross Game Chat -bet you didn't see this one coming

This is a feature that should have been part and parcel of the PS3 package from day one. PS3 gamers have been screaming for this from launch day, and we canít see any logical reason as to why this hasnít been implemented yet. Needless to say, weíre fed up of the fact that we need to leave a game just to chat with our friends, and frankly could go on a long rant about why this need to be added, but in all honesty, itís pretty self-explanatory. Get it sorted, Sony!