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PlayStation 3 firmware version 2.40 hits tomorrow

In-game XMB, trophies and more multimedia support in new update.


Following years of requests, months of speculation, and a few days of teasing, Sony has properly unveiled one of the most requested new features of its PlayStation 3 system software: in-game XMB. Set for release on July 2 at noon, Version 2.4 of the firmware will add in-game XMB support along with a number of other features.

Once your PS3 has undergone the usual free update process, you'll be able to bring up the XMB menu in-game by pressing the PS button on your controller. The menu gives you access to some features without exiting the game, including messaging. You can also select to play the music that's stored in your PS3, and switch into a different game without jumping back out into the main XMB interface.

In-game XMB at last (in this case, used apparently from Gran Turismo 5 Prologue).

The in-game XMB option will only work with PS3 titles and will not be supported when playing titles of PS2 and the original PlayStation spec. Also, Sony notes that some PS3 titles will not support the feature, although it did not provide a specific list of incompatible titles.

The other main feature for this update is new support for Trophies, Sony's oft-rumored take on the Xbox 360's Achievements system. Depending on the game, you'll be able to collect bronze, silver, gold and platinum level trophies which can be viewed from the XMB interface and compared to friends.

The new control panel for music playback and a new user profile window.

Other changes include a wealth of new multimedia features. The version 2.4 system offers a new mini panel for controlling music playback. Other audio upgrades includes Blu-ray Disc DTS-ES Matrix playback, DTS-ES and DTS 96/24 compatibility. MP3 Surround files are also supported, although these are played back by being converted to Linear PCM.

New video support includes upconversion of BDAV discs (Blu-rays that you've created on a recorder) and video content from your hard disk and memory cards. The system will even allow you to apply frame noise reduction and block noise reduction to your saved videos.

You can power off the system from the home menu and input Google searches directly from the XMB. The latter feature was recently added to the PSP's firmware.

For a full list of changes, see [a href=http://www.jp.playstation.com/ps3/update/]Sony's PS3 update page[/a].

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