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Home » Featured, News

Massive XMB Update? The Man From Sony, He Say No

Submitted by on Wednesday, 8 July 20094 Comments

psn logoIn the first of a two-part interview with our friends over at PC World, Eric Lempel spills the beans on firmware and the future of the PS3.

Of particular interest is what we can expect to see in terms of future updates and the regularity of said updates.

And importantly we find out what was really in the most recent update, Firmware 2.80.

First and foremost, Eric points out that the PS3 is not in line for the Ãœber-update the the interwebs have been heralding as the second coming. In fact, we can continue to expect updates roughly every quarter.

Further, Eric states that there are usually many backstage updates in the never-ending stream of upgrades and improvements: things that will open doors for the developers down the line, or make things easier to do certain processes in a different way in a few months or even years.

For this reason Sony takes the view that there is no point in going into massive amounts of detail regarding updates. The fact that in the future you might be able to see this particular lens flare in this way as opposed to that, and it taxes the system ‘x amount’ less than it would have otherwise, is of little interest ot the majority of people.

Which we think makes sense: think about the pre-update EULA we have all read *ahem*. If the upgrade details were in depth to that degree, we would all just switch off and miss the really important stuff in a wave of techno-jargon.


No-one enjoys this stuff. Well, no normal person anyway.

In a later question, Mr. Lempel comments on the New Xbox Experience, stating that Sony knew they were onto a winner with the XMB and that the NXE is – above all – a flattering affirmation that Sony are on the right track with the way the gamer (or user, if you’re in it for the films) interacts with the system.

For that reason, we wont be seeing any major alterations to the way we use the XMB interface in the near-to-middle future.

Like we always say*; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

In saying that, Lempel is quick to point out that Sony are not averse to changing things if necessary – pointing out the PSN Store Re-design. It seems that Sony are in close contact with us consumers in a number of ways and are always aware of what we want.

However, as with all petulant children, what we want and what we get can be somewhat separate and discrete. On this note, Eric points out that cross-game chat is a huge must-have for a vast number of gamers. It is something that Sony have in the works at the moment but it is a complex issue.

Trying to get one PS3 doing one thing to talk to another whilst the user is again doing something totally different is a big ask. One which we do not envy Sony for taking on, if we are honest.

Perhaps the most interesting section of the article deals with the distribution method of Firmware Update 2.80.


To update or not to update? That is the question.

When the news broke that Firmware 2.80 was available, did anyone notice that it was not compulsory? That’s right; gamers who decided to skip the update – after all, it was just backstage stuff, wasn’t it? – were still able to access the PSN Store and go online without being forced to update the system.

And from the sounds of it, future updates will follow suit for the most part.

The issues with Hulu were mentioned, too.

As far as Sony are concerned, Hulu is a third-party application. As such, there is not a huge amount that Sony can do to get Hulu working. Sony are aware of the issue and have – in the past – simply picked up the phone and had a chat with the company concerned.

However, they are quick to point out that if they did this with every incompatible website, they would never be off the phone!

As far as searching on memory cards goes, this is something that could be added at some point but is still low on the priority list. We reckon this makes sense; not everyone makes use of the memory card readers on the PS3 and doubtless we would all rather have some other improvements first.

Check out the full interview over at PC World and let us know what your thoughts are below.

*We never say that. Ever.