Firmware 2.40 Officially Detailed!
No more rumors. No more speculation. No more he-said, she-said. This is the real deal; we’ve received the official press release from Sony regarding the upcoming firmware update 2.40 for the PlayStation 3, and it’s everything you expected and then some.
The first big addition is, of course, the addition of the in-game XMB, which will allow us to communicate with our friends and utilize many other features while playing. To add to this is the other expected feature: Trophy support, which, similar to the Xbox 360’s Achievements, will let users “compare our skills to other members of the community.” PS3 owners have been waiting for an update of this magnitude and it’s finally on the way-
“Today's PLAYSTATION 3 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.”
By pushing the PS button on your controller, you will be able to interrupt the game and choose from a variety of XMB features. You can message friends and check their online status, sign in to the Network, manage Store downloads, quit a game, and access options within the Settings category. The in-game XMB will work with “most existing PS3 games” and depending on the title, hitting the PS button will either pause the game or allow the gameplay to continue in the background. Oh, and we know you’re wondering about music…yeah, it’s here; you can select music stored on your PS3 hard drive, and then access a control panel via the XMB that lets you pause, stop, repeat the track, select a different track, or shuffle. Firmware 2.40 further gives developers the opportunity to create games that will allow for personalized soundtracks, and you can expect a list of titles that will support that ability soon.
Lastly, you will be able to search via Google on the new XMB without first having to open the Internet browser; the PSP just added this ability a few weeks ago. Trophies need little in the way of explanation, but we can tell you they will be viewable in the XMB’s Game category under a nifty new Trophy Collection icon. Your acquired Trophies will also be presented for the world to see in your personal profile (if you so desire), which is another great new feature: the profile is a “virtual representation of PS3 users,” and you can personalize and customize to your heart’s content. Users will be ranked accordingly by a “Level-basis” depending on the color Trophies they have received: Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze. You’ll even be able to track how far along you are to the next level; kinda like tracking EXP in a RPG. The very first game to make use of the Trophies will be Super Stardust HD, but of course, there will be many more to follow. Here are the confirmed first-party titles:
- Buzz! Quiz TV
- MotorStorm: Pacific Rift
- NBA 09
- PixelJunk Eden
- Resistance 2
- SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation
Next up, third-party games that support Trophies, and we know they’re coming. One final detail- the Trophies are not retroactive; you will not be awarded Trophies for achievements made prior to downloading firmware update 2.40. All that starts upon the arrival of the update to your system…which, by the way, will be on July 2. As many rumors have stated, firmware 2.40 will become available for download on that day (it’s Wednesday, folks), so get ready! If you like, there is the official video walkthrough over at the PlayStation blog; it’s enough to make you salivate. Like, literally.
6/30/2008 Ben Dutka