PS3 XMB Firmware Update in More Detail

ProfileI’ve been asked by a number of you to expand upon the PS3 Firmware update I mentioned earlier.

Well, this firmware update for PlayStation 3 will include support for a variety of features that fans have been asking for: The ability to open the PS3’s system menu while running a game, custom soundtracks, and ‘Trophies’.

OK, you don’t get access to every system function of the PlayStation 3 but you can change system settings and send messages to your friends, without leaving the game you’re currently playing.

You can also browse through your lists of video, music, and photos stored on your PS3 while playing a game, but you can’t view them.

Some games will support custom soundtracks – this means that you’ll be able to turn down the in-game sound volume, open the XMB, and play whatever track you like – something I tend to do when playing Counter Strike Source, nothing like a bit of Ministry, Pigface and NIN whilst taking out terrorists!  :0P 

Sony said that it will not require developers to add support for custom soundtracks, and did not announce any game that would definitely feature them. (Sony representatives demonstrated the feature running with a specially-programmed version of PixelJunk Monsters.)


But what about these Trophies?

It seems, for the most part, it’s cop of Xbox 360’s Achievement system.

The difference is that instead of the goals being worth certain numeric point values, they’re broken up into Gold, Silver, and Bronze designations, the Golds being the most difficult to earn obviously.

As you gain Trophies, they translate into experience points in an RPG stylee “Level” that goes on your profile.

If you are the competitive type you can directly compare the size of his trophy collection to yours — you can do it by listing every game you’ve both played, or actually go in and compare individual trophy acquisitions.

And that’s pretty much all I know at the mo.

Xbox 360 developers shouldn’t have a hard time taking their Achievement lists and translating them directly into Trophies.

I think Sony’s version wins in the looks stakes compared to the Xbox 360’s lists.