Sony surprised everyone this week… without even a mention, hint or announcement – an online version of the PSN (Sony Entertainment Network) store for the PS3 and PS Vita arrived online on the SEN website. Nobody even expected such a release this week, but, it’s here and fully functional for almost all EU regions.

All European Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita owners (other than those in select regions, no official availability list has been released) can head over to the following link and purchase games, browse items, subscribe to services and top-up their accounts using the new online store.

The store works very fluidly and follows the same style as the PS3 version of the store, but more quickly. Page loading is very fast and the interface is lovely – a very nice shopping experience.

An online store for the Playstation 3 has been requested by users for a very long time and Sony has finally answered with the provision of this service, however, it is not perfect. The ability to queue downloads to the PS3 and Vita (such as what is available on the Xbox 360) is missing and any purchases using the online store must be downloaded by entering the download list on the console in question.

We commend Sony for their work and spontaneous release, but we hope this is a beta version for now and that queuing downloads will be available through the next firmware update on the PS3 and the PS Vita. Also, using Playstation Plus’ automatic download to automatically download items purchased through the webstore would be a great idea and use for the system.

Stick with us for a review of ZONE OF THE ENDERS coming this afternoon!