Sometime this month Sony will finally be joining the ranks of Microsoft’s Xbox Live and bringing an online version PSN Store (now known as the Sony Entertainment Network store) to the States. By online we mean that gamers will be able to access various new account elements from the web, namely the ability to purchase content.

Europe has already had this feature for about a month now — where it is being tested for stability — and then it should come here. How it works is gamers can purchase an item — be it a game, demo, or piece of DLC — and that item is then queued for download on its associated PS3 or Vita.

However, according to Sony’s Shawn Layden, it’s entirely possible that automatic downloads will be offered in the foreseeable future. He wouldn’t say how such a feature would work — if it would turn on the console a la PS Plus cloud saves, or would just start downloading once the console was manually turned on — but it’s nonetheless a must-have feature at this point.

Being unable to perform essential tasks like purchase content, something Xbox Live has offered for some time now, further pushes Sony into a competitive stance against Microsoft. Granted, they’ve also surpassed their competitors with the Instant Game Collection — a “free” offering of new and exciting titles for PS Plus members — but there are still some essential functions PS3 users have been hoping for.

Until the automatic downloads feature rolls out, though, we have to say that the SEN store will still be an inferior offering, but it’s getting there. Hopefully Sony can start work on automatic downloads so that it launches shortly after the SEN Store hits the US.

Are you ready for the SEN store to finally go online? What other features would you like to see the store offer besides automatic downloads?

Source: CNET

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tags: PS3, PSN, Sony, Vita