Sony Computer Entertainment has announced Playstation 3 Firmware Update 2.40 will finally materialize for free download beginning Wednesday, July 2.
The update will include a pair of features Xbox 360 owners have been enjoying since the Xbox Live service first launched.
The first feature is access to the XMB (XrossMediaBar) while playing a game with a simple press of the Playstation button. From the in-game XMB you’ll be able to determine if any friends are online, read and send messages, and change some settings for games.
Games will pause during single-player gameplay when the XMB is accessed, but will not while engaged in online multi-player modes. At the same time, the cap on a friends list has been doubled to 100.
The second feature is Sony’s answer to Microsoft’s Achievements system. Dubbed Trophies, players will be able to earn gold, silver, bronze and platinum Trophies. Platinum is awarded to players to snag the other three.
The first game to offer Trophy support will be Super Stardust HD. Additional first-party games slated for Trophy support are as follows.
- BUZZ! Quiz TV
- MotorStorm Pacific Rift
- NBA 09
- PixelJunk Eden
- Resistance 2
- SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation
Third-party support for Trophies has yet to be announced.