PS3 Trophies and XMB Confirmed For July 2

30 06 2008

As posted on Gamespot.com

Following a spate of leaks last week, Sony has officially announced the PlayStation 3’s trophy system will arrive on July 2 as part of the 2.4 firmware update. As had been rumored, the system will eschew its Xbox Live’s cumulative numerical score, instead adopting a four-tiered approach which bestows four kinds of awards: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum.

The trophies will be assigned by each game’s developer, not Sony–will be associated with a task of relative difficulty; bronze medals will be doled for easy feats, and gold for harder objectives. “The platinum medals will only given when all other tasks are completed,” Eric Lempel, director of PlayStation Network operations, told GameSpot.

Each trophy will have a numeric value associated with it–a value which will contribute to an overall levelling system, much like those in role-playing games. However, the user will be unable to see how much each trophy is worth, only a completion percentage for each game and each overall level. When asked why Sony was avoiding tying a visible score to the PS3’s trophy system, Lempel said, “We don’t know why our users would be interested in a numeric value… we think the medals best represent one’s progress.”

While trophies will become standard in all games in the future, they will only be added to a few existing games, including PixelJunk Eden, Super Stardust, and Warhawk. Other than BioShock, Sony said it could not confirm trophies for any existing or future third-party PS3 titles, including the wildly popular Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. However, it did announce a spate of upcoming first-party games which would include trophies, including LittleBigPlanet, MotorStorm Pacific Rift, NBA 09, Resistance 2, and SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation.

Unfortunately, PS3 trophies will not be retroactive. For games that have already been released, players must first download a patch for said game, and will then have to perform the feats to receive the trophies as though they were playing the game for the first time.

Players’ PS3 trophies will be viewable via a new profile window will be accessible via the XrossMediaBar (XMB), which, as rumored, will be available in-game. The XMB will offer access to both at-a-glance trophy tallies, a more detailed breakdown of medals, and a side-by-side comparison of a player’s trophies and those of any friend.

The new in-game XMB will offer a host of other new features too, including the ability to text message friends in-game and jump to other PS3 services. However, many of said services–including Web browsing and voice chat–will force players to quit their game and then access the XMB traditionally. The rumored customizable in-game background music feature, which will allow players to stream music from their hard drives while playing a game, was also confirmed. However, the feature will be game-specific, meaning it is up to developers to enable the functionality or not.

Are you excited?  I know I am!  It’ll give me a little hope for the PS3 and I may actually try playing it now instead of getting Achievements on my 360.

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