Trophies! Wooooo!

2008-07-16

Whilst it's very true that the Playstation Network has a major advantage over its main rival (the PSN is free to use), one thing has still regularly got in the way: the functionality isn't as good. However, Sony have been doing as much as they possibly can (albeit slowly) to turn this around. With regular firmware updates, the XMB (cross media bar) for the Playstation 3 and the available network features have each improved dramatically. Most recently, in-game XMB access finally gave users the ability to send messages from one game to another so that friends can meet up without having to exit their game. This major step has been swiftly followed with the release of trophies.

There will obviously be similarities drawn with Microsoft's Achievements system, but since both parties are guilty of copying eachother's successful ideas, it's best to ignore all that and focus on the fact that, as a user, it's a win-win situation. The Playstation Network now has trophy support, which basically means that a few existing games, and most games of the future, will feature special challenges that reward you with a trophy.

So far, it looks like only Super Stardust HD has trophy support, but there are many titles listed for imminent trophy release, including existing titles such as Burnout Paradise, Uncharted and Warhawk, as well as future releases like Wipeout HD, Bioshock and more. It probably won't be long before trophies are a standard feature in games, and that's certainly something to look forward to.

Interestingly, Playfire have already got a full trophy badge setup running. They've got all the trophy-supporting games listed, allowing you to select which trophies you've earned. If you setup an account and take the time to input every trophy you've earned, they'll generate a nice little badge for your efforts. Update (12/03/2009), the PSN have now launched an official one that updates automatically, like so:

Trophy Card

In summary, this is a significant improvement for the PSN, and something that adds an extra layer of challenge and lastability to new game releases. Whether you're returning to forgotten games or trying unusual things with new games, trophies seem to be a good way of getting that little bit more out of the Playstation experience, and that can't be a bad thing.

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