Through regular firmware updates, SCEA has the ability to continually deliver new features to PS3 system that address the needs of its users. Now with the 2.40 update, PS3's community and in-game experience will be upgraded with new offerings that gamers have asked for. The update will deliver XMB (XrossMediaBar) access in-game, enabling PS3 users to connect and communicate with other gamers and utilize other XMB features seamlessly while playing most games.
In addition to being able to communicate with friends from within a game, PS3 users will also be able to earn Trophies following the 2.40 update. This new, integrated system enables gamers to tout their accomplishments via profiles, which also allow users to compare their skills to other members of the community. Firmware update 2.40 will be available on July 2.
"Today's PS3 experience has evolved significantly from what we debuted at launch, and the 2.40 firmware update will drive the PS3 community experience forward at a time when the platform's momentum is stronger than ever, with the launches of several recent blockbuster titles and other exclusive content on the way," said Peter Dille, senior vice president of marketing and PlayStation Network, SCEA.
"We listen closely to our community, and we're proud to deliver new features that have been among the most requested -- XMB access in-game and Trophies. These features provide new ways for the PS3 community to easily connect, communicate and share gaming experiences with one another in and out of games."
XMB Access In-Game
XMB access in-game will enable gamers to interact with friends using messaging, view their friends' online status and profiles (including their -- all without interrupting the flow of gameplay. By pushing the PS button on the PS3 controller, the Home menu takes center stage over a game in progress. Depending on the game, XMB access will either automatically pause the game or it will continue to run in the background. With these enhanced communications features further connecting the PlayStation Network community -- which has more than 9.8 million registered accounts worldwide as of June 2008 -- the Friends list capacity has doubled to 100 Friends.
Beyond utilizing Friends list features, XMB access in-game will allow users to sign-in to PlayStation Network, manage PlayStation Store downloads, quit a game, and access various options within the Settings category. PS3 users can also quickly end their game and navigate directly to other PS3 system features simply by selecting to view content such as photos or videos stored on the system's hard drive. XMB access in-game works with most existing PS3 games.
In addition to these enhanced community features, the 2.40 update lays the groundwork for gamers to customize their individual gaming experience by accessing the XMB during a game and selecting music stored on their PS3 system's hard drive. Once a music file is played, users can access a control panel via the XMB that enables them to pause, stop, or repeat the track; go to a different track; or shuffle. The 2.40 update provides developers with the tools that will enable them to offer personalized background music as an option in their games, and the supporting titles are expected to be announced in the future.
Additionally, the firmware 2.40 update includes Google-powered Internet search functionality on the XMB, allowing users to input search terms and be directed to a search results page without having to first open the PS3 Internet browser. PSP system recently added similar Internet search functionality through a firmware update.
Trophies offer a new and innovative way for gamers to showcase their gaming accomplishments. PS3 users can earn virtual trophies, which will be viewable on the XMB's Game category under a new Trophy Collection icon, and will also be touted through individual profiles. These profiles will serve as virtual representations of PS3 users, allowing them to personalize their identities and display their gaming accomplishments within the PlayStation community. Gamers will be ranked on a Level-basis depending on the bronze, silver, gold, and platinum trophies they earn across all games. They will also be able to see how much progress they have made toward the next Level, as well as compare their Trophies to friends.
Super Stardust HD, a PlayStation Network-exclusive released in June 2007, will be the first game to leverage the Trophies system and will offer a variety of trophies*. The following first-party games are also slated to offer Trophy support:
- BUZZ! Quiz TV
- MotorStorm Pacific Rift
- NBA 09 - PS3
- PixelJunk Eden
- Resistance 2
- SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation
*Requires a game update to be downloaded and installed.
PS3 users can expect to see additional first and third-party games bringing Trophy support to their feature sets through 2008 and beyond, providing even greater opportunity to showcase their accomplishments and compete with friends. SCEA is actively working with developers to ensure that Trophies are incorporated into new titles in the future.
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