Where is in-game XMB?

2007-11-28

Not meaning to put a downer on Playstation 3's progress, but after much promise of improved Playstation Network capability, there's still no sign of cross-game messaging and an in-game XMB (Cross Media Bar). It's nearly the end of the year. In amongst awesome releases such as Ratchet and Clank Future, Call of Duty 4 and Uncharted, it's unfortunate that Sony's impressive progress has been slightly stalled by this missing feature.

Why is it important?

To be honest, cross-game messaging is something we can cope without. If we see a friend come online, there's nothing to stop us exiting the current game, attracting their attention from the XMB (and having a chat if required) before heading into a game together. Once in the game, most online titles have some form of communication at the ready (a headset is a real essential for games like Resistance: Fall of Man). However, this process is something that stands out very sorely once you've experienced cross-game messaging on, and it pains me to say it, the X-Box 360. Once you've realized the convenience of the service, it's confusing why Sony haven't been quicker to implement the feature.

When will it arrive?

Firmware 2.0 (and numerous others) have been rumoured to include in-game XMB capability, but so far this has not materialized. However, it has been pretty much confirmed by Sony execs and I can't imagine the company waiting too much longer (or they'll start to lose ground again to the X-Box). In-game XMB should really be active early in 2008 and is absolutely essential before the next Christmas rush. Fingers crossed.

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