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Posts with tag XMB

Home may completely replace the XMB

We've got a few more details on the upcoming release of Home for you today. They aren't the biggest announcements, but they're things that you're absolutely better off knowing. Some of them are disappointing, some of them are ambitious, but all of them deserve mentioning in a fancy bulleted list.
  • Home is currently capped at 60 people per room, for frame-rate issue reasons. If we can put in our two cents, we recommend a Phantasy Star Universe approach for the rooms -- players, you know what we mean.
  • Travel between zones is more straightforward than originally planned. You can run as well as walk, or just use the magical PSP interface to warp wherever you want.
  • Many organizations desire Home to completely replace the XMB. That is, when you boot up your PS3, you start off in your room in Home.
  • Work on Home will continue well into next year, so the product we get in October is in no way the final version of the program.
These are all ambitious claims and we're looking forward to seeing what even the incomplete build will be able to do. Then we can gauge how well the other points will work out. How do you all feel about Home perhaps someday replacing the XMB altogether? Would you prefer the option, at least, to start up into Home upon turning the PS3 on?

Rumor: Sony to reveal massive changes to the XMB and PS Store at E3

It seems every couple weeks we get another rumored list of new features/changes for upcoming firmware releases. They rarely come true and are usually quickly debunked, but are kind of fun regardless. Still, this most recent rumor is pretty juicy and comes from a PS3 Forums regular. Supposedly Sony is going to be showing off a huge overhaul to the XMB and the PlayStation store at E3, with heavy Home integration and the implementation of several features that have been long request. We've broken down the info into tasty little bulleted tidbits:
  • Folder support for all sections of the XMB including Games, allowing you to organize your plethora of demos/ps1 titles/PSN games.
  • User Profile page accessible directly from the XMB that shows off the your gamerscore, profile info and trophies. The page will also be viewable in your Home apartment.
  • PlayStation Store is getting completely redesigned to make it more console accessible and to pave the way for the additional content Sony plans to release by the end of the year (videos, movies, music, etc).
  • You'll be able to select your trophies for use as a t-shirt graphic in Home so everybody can check out your Loco Roco skillz without having to go to your house.
A lot of the things mentioned sound reasonable. For example, the PlayStation Store will have to be revamped if Sony wants to offer a wide range of content there. As it is, it's unbelievably slow and really isn't conducive to prolonged sessions of browsing through content. Also, Phil Harrison has previously mentioned increased integration between Home and XMB, and Eric Lempel recently commented that Sony is indeed working on a gamerscore type of system. But still, take this rumor with a big ol' salt lick -- at least we won't have to wait long to find out if it's true!

[Thanks Joe!]

Ask PS3 Fanboy: Volume 1

Welcome to the inaugural addition of Ask PS3 Fanboy, the feature where we do our very best to answer your pressing questions. Don't be shy! You can e-mail me anytime at and we'll put your question in the running for our next Ask PS3 Fanboy segment. Sorry for the initial delay, but this will be a weekly special ever Sunday -- so ask away!

Q: Is there an effect solution for playing Guitar Hero on the PS3?
A: There is currently no device that offers a 100% support for Guitar Hero 1 and 2, though Pelican has recently released an adapter that provides maybe 70-80% compatability. According to reviews, the adapter works flawless on Guitar Hero but has some issues on its sequel. Unfortunately, you cannot do hammer-ons or pull-offs in Guitar Hero 2 while using the adapter -- making it more or less impossible to play the harder difficult levels of the game. You don't really need to do hammer-ons or pull-offs for the earlier levels so it's not a complete deal killer but definitely annoying. Also, while the Pelican adapter supports Dualshock controllers, it doesn't support rumble at all which is a bit of a bummer.

Q: Have you heard anything about Afrika recently?
A: Very little has been heard about Afrika since it was announced, though three months ago Phil Harrison did mention it briefly in an interview with British gaming site Pro-G. He didn't get into specifics, but did say that he's seen the game and that it's coming along nicely. Unfortunately, he was being very coy about the whole thing so there wasn't a lot to get out of the interview. As for release date, the last time Sony talked about the release date of Afrika, they were saying it will still be coming out in 2007. I think it would be a safe bet that we'll get another taste of Afrika come the mini-E3 next month -- but don't expect an avalanche of info. According to my completely unscientific guesstimates, I'd say TGS '07 will be the big unveiling with a 2008 launch.

More questions after the jump!

Continue reading Ask PS3 Fanboy: Volume 1

So you want to change those game backgrounds, do ya?

So, some of you might be wondering why those crazy screenshots pop up whenever you highlight a game on your XMB (that's Cross Media Bar for the uninitiated). You know, where the music plays or whatever? Seems like somebody had a little fun with their PS3, hacking into those backgrounds and giving them a little more... substance. But how did he do it? Linux? Some clever manipulation of the controls? A trick of the trade, no doubt. Check out the video, tell us what you think. Perhaps you could even take a humorous picture of yourself in a bathtub, playing with a large amount of rubber ducks and use that as the image that pops up. That would be funlarious.

[Good work, Adam!]

Get the XMB on the PS3 at any time, petition-style!

With a little over 2,000 signatures, it seems like the majority of PlayStation 3 owners have signed this petition already (har, har, har... if you can't laugh at yourself, you'll never smile at others or some such saying). What's the petition say? Here you go, baby birds:

"Sony, we want access to the XMB in game including custom soundtracks. At GDC 06 you showed access to the XMB, and so did early dev kits but they haven't made it to the final console. Early research suggested PS3 reserves 64mb of the main RAM for the XMB, but we currently have no access to the XMB at all. Please add this through a firmware upgrade to the PS3." Ending with a sincerely, the undersigned, you know it's official.

This would be a fantastic feature -- the ability to toss on some music mid-game, send a message, search the web for clues/other stuff made specifically for a game to get you more involved... among other things. Would you want to see this feature? What else could it bring to the table? Oh, and... sign the petition if you want to. But petitions hardly ever work.

"Remote Play" function explored!

So we got a lot of comments asking what this "Remote Play" feature was on the PS3 as listed on its translated interface menu. Thanks to our fellow Sony-addicts over at PSPFanboy, we've got a little more to tell you. With "Remote Play", you can stream data onto your PSP from your PS3 -- both video and game content. Does this mean you can take your PSP into the bathroom and continue playing the PS3 game in a more, erm, private setting? No time to waste, right? We're not sure if you can do that yet, but it seems fairly likely, so long as the image is all that's depicted on the PSP, leaving all the processing for the bigger, badder PS3 a room away.

Will we be able to stream Blu-ray movies onto the PSP, or UMD movies onto the PS3? Don't really know. But we do know that this capability is thanks to Wi-Fi, meaning you'll have to scrounge up that extra $100 for the premium PS3. Not like you'll find any of the 20GB models anyway. So there's your answer! Remote Play is streaming data between PSP's and the PS3.

PS3 interface -- some details/theories revealed!

The Playstation 3 interface is just about as close as we've gotten to seeing the online service. This is kind of sad, what with launch nearing, but worry not! This interface demo reveals a few interesting things that, while not related at all to the online service (still promised to be up and running upon launch day!) it lets you have an idea what to expect with your options. A friend who bought the 360 upon launch spent an entire day just combing through the interface, so there's always something to look for!

Read on, friends, read on... for a large bulleted list awaits you...

Continue reading PS3 interface -- some details/theories revealed!

Watch a video of the PS3 interface, pretend it's you

This is a pretty neat video to watch. Not for the narration or the visuals, but to just picture yourself browsing through the deep blue... XMB (cross media bar). IGN got permission to show off the PS3 menu system and you know what? It's kind of bland. Bland does not mean bad, however. It is extremely user friendly and incredibly simple to navigate (both in game and out). Near the end of the video, we're told we can customize our wallpaper and whatnot. Give the thing a little more flavor. It's good, though. Some of us don't like big, flashy bubbly menus and worthless accessories in our interface. It's a man's interface! Right? Maybe not.

Don't be fooled by the video -- the resolution (at least from this laptop) was pretty bad, so most of the icons seemed very pixelated. The final version we get to play with will be a lot sharper, unless you cross your eyes. Basically, ignore the visual aspect of the video and focus on the ease of navigation, which isn't necessarily hampered by the poor video quality (at least, from this laptop). Watch the video, share your thoughts, but again, it is boring visually because you haven't had the chance to spice it up and personalize it.


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