Testing the site on game consoles. Part I

    Recently, the topic of developing mobile and responsive sites has been actively discussed on the network. But users in the West are already worried about other problems. For example, what will Amazon look like on a PSP and is it possible to log into a mobile bank with Nintendo.

    We found an article about the adaptation of sites for game consoles, and thought that for many of you it would be interesting, and even useful to someone. The material came out rather voluminous, we will publish its translation in two parts, and the original lies here .

    According to data from 2010 and 2011, more than 1/8 Internet users in the UK, USA and France and one in four American teenagers use game consoles to access the Internet.

    And this is not news - it was possible to access the Internet through the console back in 1997 with the submission of Game.com, which allowed users to download their results by connecting a modem, as well as checking emails and browsing sites if they had a special Internet cartridge.

    Today, all three major gaming consoles (Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii) have Internet access. Of these, at the same time, only the Xbox 360 does not have an official browser, although Microsoft has already announced the imminent launch of IE9 for consoles. And some companies have already begun experimenting with design for consoles. For example, in 2007 Google launched the Reader version for Wii, which is now suitable for all TV consoles.

    Add to that the portable consoles with browsers, such as the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS lines - and now we have a 15-year history of game consoles of various sizes and formats with Internet access. However, to date, very little has been said about browsers in game consoles. Web navigation with various game consoles Modern consoles can offer only a small selection of browsers to use, but this does not mean that they completely ignore them. After all, “we cannot predict future behavior based on the sad experience of the present,” says Jason Grigsby.


    As more and more console manufacturers offer Internet-compatible devices and smart TVs continue to enter the market, now is the time to think about how our sites will adapt to these conditions. To do this, you need to study the capabilities of new devices well.

    Who uses browsers in game consoles?

    Game TV consoles are not just for gamers. They are now being developed and sold, complemented by many features, such as Blu-ray or access to Netflix. Some consoles also have applications for Twitter, Facebook, Skype and Foursquare, so there is every chance that a user can visit your site using one of them.

    According to a Pew Internet study, 80% of American teenagers 12-17 years old have a game console, and half of them also own a portable gaming gadget. Pocket consoles are the most popular among younger teens - they are played by 2 out of 3 teenagers aged 12-13 years.

    If we talk about adults, the Pew survey shows that men often acquire game consoles, while women prefer portable consoles.

    In the UK, young people aged 16-24 are more likely to choose set-top boxes and 20% use websites to use them. Among children aged 5-15, 5% go online using the console more often than from any other device. In fact, this age group is more likely than others to surf the Internet through a console rather than a mobile phone or tablet.

    Among all age groups, game consoles are more popular as devices for web surfing, unlike tablets. Perhaps this is due to the fact that they are more common.

    In a word, all categories of people use browsers in consoles for various reasons. In families that own a computer, a console can be a convenient additional way for web surfing, if there is competition for traditional devices. Pocket consoles are also popular among parents who do not want to give their child an expensive smartphone. Nintendo DS is especially popular among younger students, and in some schools it is even used in the classroom .

    In the past, we made a mistake in assuming that mobile phone users will solve simple problems. But, according to thousands of eBay visitors who buy cars via mobile phones weekly, some users of console browsers are now ready to perform tasks that we categorize as “advanced.” For example, log in to the bank via PS3.

    Console Browser Testing

    Even if you don’t have the opportunity to check your sites for compatibility with each console, it’s still useful to keep in mind their existence and know their features in order to make sites accessible to more users.

    Let's look at three main types of consoles:
    1. set-top boxes connected to a TV, such as Nintendo Wii, Sony PS and Microsoft Xbox 360.
    2. handheld consoles like Sony PSP and Nintendo DS
    3. console phones designed as a phone but with game buttons (as opposed to consoles with a phone function).

    Due to the fact that community testing sites arise all over the world , we can get an idea of ​​each type of set-top boxes, and especially the most functional ones.

    If we talk about consoles for TV, then, for example, Nintendo Wii has a motion controller, which is useful for testing site navigation. The same applies to the release of the new Wii U, which will have a touch screen on the controller that allows you to interact with the links on the screen. Sony’s PS3 is also useful for testing the ease of navigation with a regular game controller, while the Xbox 360 will become an important device for testing only after IE9 is released for it.

    The two most popular series of handheld consoles are the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP. The latest portable console from Sony is the PS Vita, which has an optional 3G model and can also be used as a controller for the PS3. Sony's older portable internet consoles are the PSP-1000, PSP-2000, PSP-3000, and PSP Go (series younger than the PSP-E1000 were still without internet access).

    For the DS line, DSi and 3DS are useful because they have different browsers. Older models DS and DS Lite require a cartridge instead of a pre-installed or downloadable browser, so it is likely that there are much fewer people browsing web pages with their help.

    Testing TV consoles

    A large TV screen does not mean better quality. Text can be “pixelated” and hard to read, especially when browser content is scaled. Despite the fact that TV screens are generally larger than desktop monitors, viewers sit farther away from them, which may make them appear smaller.



    In PS3 there is NetFront - a browser based on WebKit. Its width is fixed and narrower than the TV screen.

    The joystick moves the cursor and scrolls the page. L1 (in the upper left corner) is the return button, R1 (top right) is the forward button. Pressing a triangle brings up a menu of actions such as search and bookmarks, and the D-Pad allows the cursor to focus on links.

    Several windows can be opened using L3 (pressing the left joystick), and scrolling through the use of L2 and R2 (lower left and right buttons).

    Browser Support :
    HTML5 Support: 68/500 ( html5test.com )
    CSS3 Support: 38% ( css3test.com )



    The Wii has an Opera 9 browser with a width of 800px (the height varies depending on the screen). The remote control used as a laser pointer vibrates when you hover over a link. Moving the cursor to the edge of the screen and pulling the “trigger” scrolls the page. The + and - buttons scale the page. Pressing button 1 adds the site to your favorites; 2 shows a non-style version of a page.

    After a few minutes of typing and trying to get exactly the link, my hand gets tired. Performing such actions is convenient only if the links are large enough. If the site has many small clickable areas and they are close to each other, navigation becomes a problem.

    Often the site starts loading, “breaks” and immediately returns to the main screen of the console without any warning or error.

    Browser support:
    HTML5 support: Could not start
    CSS3 test: Could not start

    You are in the second part will be considered portable consoles and console phones. And in conclusion, the author of the review will tell you what to do now with all this knowledge)

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