PS3 trophies, in-game XMB just weeks away?

Source: A short but media-rich piece on MaxConsole.com. What we heard: When the PlayStation 3 was launched, it was criticized for a number of reasons. One particular bone of contention was the fact that players had to quit a game to access the PS3's cross-media bar, commonly abbreviated as XMB...

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Source: A short but media-rich piece on MaxConsole.com.

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What we heard: When the PlayStation 3 was launched, it was criticized for a number of reasons. One particular bone of contention was the fact that players had to quit a game to access the PS3's cross-media bar, commonly abbreviated as XMB. By contrast, the Xbox 360 allows players to access the Xbox Live blade in-game, letting players check up on friends and messages as well as peruse Xbox 360 achievements, while merely pausing the game.

Speaking of achievements, Sony also suffered a few slings and arrows following its presentation just before the 2007 Game Developers Conference. At the event, then-president of Worldwide Studios Phil Harrison revealed the PS3 would be getting "trophies" for in-game feats much like Xbox 360 Achievements. However, instead of resulting in a numerical score, said trophies would be displayed as three-dimensional statues in a trophy room in the PS3's avatar-based Home service.

While the recently delayed Home remains far off, this week evidence surfaced that PS3 trophies may be much nearer than expected. MaxConsole is proudly displaying cell phone photos (pictured) and video that it received from a user claiming to have access to a PS3 dev kit. Specifically, this dev kit was reportedly equipped with the v2.4 PS3 firmware upgrade, which--according to the poster--bestows the console both with trophies and an in-game XMB.

Though it was long known both features were in the cards, the purported firmware version number indicates they could be just around the corner. Sony released the v2.2 firmware update in mid-March and the v2.3 upgrade in mid-April. The last PS3 update, v2.35, was released on May 15--meaning the leap to v2.4 is mere weeks--or days--away.

Also of note is the fact the trophy-bestowing game shown in the shots appears to be the just-announced PS3 edition of BioShock, which is currently in development at 2K Games' Marin studio. That title--which will be an expanded version of the Xbox 360 and PC original--is due out in October, suggesting developers are already working trophies into 2008 releases.

The official story: Sony Computer Entertainment reps had not responded to requests for comment as of press time.

Bogus or not bogus?: Convincing evidence + long-overdue features = Probable not bogus.

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