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Firmware v2.40 Impressions

July 2, 2008

Firmware v2.40 was released today. It implemented the long awaited in game xmb and Trophy system as well as some other nifty things.

In Game XMB

It works as you would expect it. Taping the PS button will bring up the XMB during gameplay which allows you full access to all your file. One thing you’ll notice if you have a custom theme is that the In game XMB will not reflect any themes, it will be the basic version. the new Trophy icon is available for view with the only game being Super Stardust HD. You can go and look at all the Trophies and see what you need to get them. You also have full access to your friends list and you can message, compare trophies and do anything else. A “Quit Game” icon is added under games for whatever game your playing. In order to watch videos and certain system settings you need to quit the game. Music will not work unless the developer has enabled an im game xmb custom soundtrack option.

With access to the In game Xmb if your Internet is disconnected while in game you can reconnect without leaving and you can now message with friends while playing a game.

Trophies

Trophies is the Ps3s answer to the Xbox 360s Achievements. The only game right now with Trophies is Super Stardust HD but more games will be using them soon. Under Games there is a Trophy collection section where you can see a list of games you own with Trophies implemented(it will also show the % of Trophies you’ve obtained). From here choose a game and you will be given a complete list of Trophies for the game, whether you’ve unlocked them or not. The collection will give you information on how to unlock each Trophy and a special graphic will be use after you’ve unlocked it. Under Profile in the Friends tab you will find a new profile that will show your most recently obtained Trophies, your level(I’m currently level2) and the amount of Trophies you have in total. Pressing R1 will show you how many of each type of Trophy you’ve unlocked and pressing R1 again will show a modified version of the old profile.

Trophies seem like not a big deal but trying to get them will greatly increase your skill and concentration in game. I unlocked most of Super Stardust HD’s Trophies in one shot, managed to complete the “easy” arcade version to increase my previous high score of 77m to 113m and i am now ranked 516th out of 36k. I think they are a great motivator and most of the Trophies aren’t that easy to get.(Looking at you 10x multiplier, survive survival mode for 45 seconds with using no weapons and surviving endless for 7 minutes straight Trophies) Some Trophies are easier than others to obtain but there aren’t any throw away easy kind.

Nifty Stuff

There is now a clock at the top right corner of the screen, similar to the PsPs clock. it will show the date minus the year as well as the time(duh). If you check the store you will see a new “View Mode” icon at the bottom. By pressing Square you can change how the store lists thing, either in the traditional way or as a list showing the price. There is also a “Turn Off System” icon under users, it really serves no use since holding down the PS button brings up the old menu, but its nice having it there.

Conclusion:

The new firmware update drastically changed the Ps3 for the better. In game XMB allows for more freedom during gameplay while Trophies are a great motivational tool for doing well in games.

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