Firmware version 2.40 here on Wednesday
Frisby will be joining me in PS3-land soon, or so he says. That’ll make two Intendo editors (me first) with a PS3, warranting PS3 coverage in our Nintendo-centric abode. Get comfortable Nintendo news, we’ve got company. (Warcadia is sort of a wasteland at this point.)
The first thing Frisby should notice when he gets that PS3 is that Sony does not sleep on console feature sets, unlike the Large N. They’ve got firmware updates up the ying-yang. The most monumental update so far will be v2.40, to be released this Wednesday. Firmware v2.4 is huge for two reasons: it introduces achievement-style trophies, and in-game XMB access.
I’ve never quite grasped the appeal of XBLive achievements, but i suppose they add a certain amount of replay value to games you’ve already finished. Trophies also add up to a “level” which is the equivalent of the Live gamerscore, which will be displayed on the new and improved PSN profiles. You can then compare your trophy acquisitions with your buddies to see who has the larger PSN penis.
Nothing has hampered the PS3’s online gaming community more than the inability to message one another during gameplay. When me and my boys play Call of Duty 4, the only way to let each other know that we’re on is to send invites to the other persons, as a kind of morse code that means, “hey, i’m still not in your party. Invite me.” When in different games, we have to have a little ingenuity and write out a message in chunks in the limited space of a message’s subject line, since when you’re notified of a message you’re shown the name of the sender and the subject. A clever and amusing way to tease your PSN friends, but not very intuitive.
Not only did Sony address this, but they opened up access to the entire XMB during a game. While you can look at your other XMB stuff, you can’t use them without quitting the game. Not that this is a drawback, either. Being able to move seamlessly between your videos, games, and friends, the three most utilized areas of the XMB, is all anyone really wanted or needed. It takes a while at present to transition between a game and the XMB and vice versa, so this feature will streamline PS3 activity by leaps and, sources say, perhaps even bounds. More than anything, the pervasive in-game XMB will completely connect the PSN userbase, making the PS3’s best asset that much more admirable.
Friz, welcome to what Nintendon’t.