updated 09:30 am EST, Fri February 15, 2008
PS3 In Game XMB Soon
A future firmware update for the PlayStation 3 should fulfill a longstanding wish of owners to bring the cross media bar (XMB) interface in-game, Sony has inadvertently confirmed on its PlayStation Network site [since pulled]. A mention on the main page suggests users can communicate with each other during gameplay; such a feat is currently impossible with existing PS3 firmware, which limits the XMB to when users are not running any tasks on the system. While it does not explicitly promise the exact interface seen in the normal PS3 menu, the ability is not believed to depend on a custom chat overlay and would need a reworking of Sony's approach to chat as a whole.
The feature would put the PS3's online services on a closer parity with those of Microsoft's Xbox 360, whose Xbox Live service is built around the ability to send and receive messages during games, including live audio chat. Sony's leak has not indicated when the feature will appear, though the launch of the Game Developers' Conference next week suggests Sony will either announce or release the needed PS3 firmware update during the same timeframe. [via Neogaf]