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Next PS3 Firmware Update Arrives on Wednesday; Packs In-game XMB, Trophies, Gamer Cards, More

Update: Sony has issued numerous details on the forthcoming update, revealing the new capabilities, such as custom soundtracks, to be more limited than initially thought.

Original Story: Sony Computer Entertainment has revealed that the PlayStation 3 will gain the oft-requested in-game XMB menu and other community features in a free downloadable firmware update due this Wednesday, July 2.

The in-game integration of the XMB means that PS3 players will finally be able to send and receive messages within all games. Previously, gamers were notified in-game when upon message receipt, but most titles required them to exit out of the game to read and possibly respond to it.

Other aspects of the in-game XMB include the ability to play custom music during a game and the option to manage PlayStation Store downloads in-game.

The 2.40 firmware also introduces the Xbox 360 Achievement-like Trophy system and profiles similar to the Xbox 360's Gamer Cards, as well as doubles the PS3's online friends list limit from 50 to 100.

"Gamers will be ranked on a Level-basis depending on the bronze, silver, gold, and platinum trophies they earn across all games," explained Sony. "These profiles will serve as virtual representations of PS3 users, allowing them to personalize their identities and display their gaming accomplishments."

Housemarque's downloadable effort Super Stardust HD will be the first game to support trophies, with the following games slated to support it by the year's end:

  • BUZZ! Quiz TV
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • MotorStorm Pacific Rift
  • NBA 09
  • PAIN
  • PixelJunk Eden
  • Resistance 2
  • SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation
  • Warhawk

Chris Faylor was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 30, 2008 9:27 AM

    Is Microsoft going to update the look of XBL? The inferface for the PS3 looks so much better than XBL.

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      June 30, 2008 9:27 AM

      Microsoft has commented that it is unhappy with the current Xbox Live Store and such, so expect a redesign there.

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        June 30, 2008 9:32 AM

        Nice, good to know. I'm also curious. I own a 360 but not a PS3 and I was wondering do PS3 owners have to pay to play online on the multi-platform games. I guess specific examples: CoD4 and Rock Band.

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          June 30, 2008 9:34 AM


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          June 30, 2008 10:15 AM

          No they are all free to play online. I currently play Warhawk, Bad Company, Gran Turismo 5, etc, they are all free.

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          June 30, 2008 1:09 PM

          there are, however differences in some games. Rock Band for example doesn't have ranked matches like 360. There's no reason for the ps3 not to, no idea why there's a difference (that said there are problems with rank protection on 360 that cause people to quit more)

          I play on expert and the lack of rank system wastes time as you need to go through several people of a lower rank before finding someone with similar skill who will stay.

          Also most people on PS3 don't have mics so conversation is pretty dead, assuming it's even supported.

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        June 30, 2008 11:25 AM

        I actually like how the XBL store is compared to the PSN store. I think things are sorted better and the flow of the interface seems transition smoother. I will say that I'm glad that Sony at least make a vast improvement over the old PSN store, it just looked like a cheaply made website that some high school kid made as part of a school project. The new one is so much better.

        Once thing I'd like for MS to do w/ the XBL store is make it easier to browse by title. Maybe a way to jump to a certain part of the alphabet when you're browsing by title.

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      June 30, 2008 10:01 AM

      It's a matter of preference. I dislike the XMB and have since the PSP.

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        June 30, 2008 11:36 AM

        I like the navigation and layout of the 360 interface much more than the XMB, but I still think the polish layer on XMB is much higher and generally more stylish.

        I guess it sort of matches my personal feeling about the consoles. 360: a little cheap looking but has it where it counds, PS3: flashier and slicker but missing something under the hood. Though I still am glad to have both.

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        June 30, 2008 2:36 PM

        I wouldn't trust the preferences of someone that owns a PT Cruiser. I'm just kidding with you. This one was too easy.

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