Sony officially confirms PS3 firmware 2.4 features, in-game XMB included

Update – Sony have now revealed that this update should be hitting PS3 consoles across the world this Wednesday, July 2nd.

Sony has finally revealed exactly what the elusive 2.4 firmware update will contain, DarkZero has the lowdown. It seems that most of the rumours were true.

Here’s the main list of what is now available in-game:

In-game XMB (Just tap the PS button)
View Game-Specific Trophies (Think achievements)
Time/Date display
Send text messages to PSN users on your friends list
Access accessory settings, such as Bluetooth pairing and voice changer
View and manage downloads
Quit game directly from an icon under the “Game” section of the XMB
Search the web using the Google Search option under “Network”
Launch directly into another game from the one you’re currently playing
Play music tracks stored on the HDD (in games that support this feature)

What Sony haven’t announced is a release date for this latest firmware update, merely stating it’ll be available “very soon”.

The trophies feature is Sony’s biggest homage to Xbox Live. There will be no ‘gamerscore’ as such, but players can ‘level up’ by unlocking more trophies. There will be four types of trophies – platinum, gold, silver and bronze. It is not yet known if developers will be limited to the number of each they can put into a game.
Apparently some already-released titles could potentially be updated with trophy-support, although you would have to play through the game all over again to unlock these.

The first announced titles that will have trophies available are all PSN games – Pain, Warhawk, Super Stardust HD and the upcoming PixelJunk Eden. Of course, the most important part is that you can compare your trophies with your friends.

Although there are some great features present in this update to the (free) PSN service, there are still some enhancements that we were hoping for that aren’t included.
For example, accessing in-game XMB doesn’t automatically pause the game (although developers are free to add this functionality). In-game messaging of friends is text-based only ,there is no option to initiate private chat. No option to send game invites to friends (although you could of course send them a text message asking them of they want to play). Many XMB features will only work in games designed to support them, if you select an XMB option that isnt supported you’ll get a message asking if you’d like to quit the game to access it – there is no way of telling whether a certain feature will work or not without selecting it.

Although this update brings PSN one step closer to Xbox Live, it’s still far from matching the basic featureset. Still.. you get what you pay for, eh?