The next upgrade to the PlayStation 3 OS is going to be killer. Changes in the Xross Media Bar and Trophy support are nearly here. Here's what you can expect on Wednesday:
XrossMediaBar Changes: The XMB will now be able to be acessed in-game, meaning that you'll be able to hit the PS3 button in the middle of a game, and access messaging, view friends' online status and profiles without interrupting the flow of gameplay. Depending on the game, XMB access will either automatically pause the game or it will continue to run in the background.
You'll also be able to access your music in-game. 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.
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: 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. 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. The following first-party games are also slated to offer Trophy support:
- BUZZ!(TM) Quiz TV
- MotorStorm(TM) Pacific Rift
- NBA 09 - PS3
- PixelJunk(TM) Eden
- Resistance 2(TM)
- SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation
Check out Sony's Walkthough Vids of the update! (Sorry, these embedded vids don't work in Firefox.)