If you don't know what the above numbers signify, then you are not a gamer. Those three little numbers have been all over the internet for the last couple of weeks, and with good reason. See, those numbers are the reference for the next PS3 firmware update, live today. Now why is this update so important? Because Sony is finally trying to level the playing field against Live.

The true importance of this update is two-fold. For the first time, we are able to access the XMB while in a game. This is a very significant event. Now, instead of having to leave the game to adjust Bluetooth headset options or check out that message that your buddy just sent you. Part of having access to the XMB is also the addition of custom soundtracks. To me this is very interesting. No, not because I want to use the feature (I don't have any music on my PS3), but because a couple of months ago Ripten reported that Microsoft holds a patent for in-game custom soundtracks. I guess they don't own this method.

Second, (and just as important for some people) is the addition of achievements, or as 2.40 refers to them, trophies. After downloading and installing the firmware update and the update for Super Stardust HD (which took about 45 minutes total) I was able to try and get a trophy. It didn't take me long, I managed to snag the Tokenizer trophy. The trophy message pops up in the upper right hand side of the screen, a little more unobtrusively then the bottom center placement of achievements. Supposedly there is a noise to accompany it, but with the SSHD soundtrack as frantic as it is, I couldn't hear it. Looking at the trophy list itself in the XMB, listed are the names of the trophies and a description of how to get them. After you unlock a trophy a picture and the date and time information from when it was unlocked are added. An interesting feature to add, to be sure. Now taking a look at this update, I have a question. Will this be enough to compete with Live?

Then answer? It's a step in the right direction. There are still several additions that need to be made in order to be on the same playing field as Live. Cross game chat and invites are probably the biggest faults right now. But, I have no doubt that those features will be added very soon. Sony says it's taking it's update cues from the consumer. If there is a feature you want to see, tell them. Tell your friends to tell them. Tell your forums to tell them. Tell everybody to tell them.

Now tell me, what is the feature - that didn't make it in this update - would you most like to see and why?


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