PS3 Firmware 2.40 Dated: In-Game XMB, Trophies Only Two Days Away!

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That’s right, folks. SCEA has kicked off the week with great news for PS3 owners, announcing that firmware system update 2.40 will be going live on July 2nd. That means in-game XMB support and the new Trophies system are only two days away, so you can finally stop berating Sony over not providing these features. Firmware 2.40 is more than just in-game XMB and Trophies too. Other neat feature additions will include increased friends list capacity to 100, a new music player control panel, Google searching integrated into the XMB like the PSP just got, and a time and date clock in the upper right hand corner of the XMB. It’s going to be quite the update, hopefully the patching process goes smoothly…

Hit the jump for complete descriptions of the in-game XMB functionality and Trophies system (including a list of compatible 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(R)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(R)(PlayStation(R)Portable) system recently added similar Internet search functionality through a firmware update.

Trophies:

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(TM) 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!(TM) Quiz TV
— LittleBigPlanet(TM)
— MotorStorm(TM) Pacific Rift
— NBA 09 – PS3
— PAIN*
— PixelJunk(TM) Eden
— Resistance 2(TM)
— SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation
— Warhawk(TM)*

*Requires a game update to be downloaded and installed.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!