updated 01:40 pm EDT, Wed April 16, 2008
PS3 video, XMB changes
Updating through an official mouthpiece blog, a Sony executive has confirmed several upcoming features for the PlayStation 3 game console. Peter Dille, the senior VP for marketing with the PlayStation Network, says that while he cannot comment on rumors of a download store for movies and TV shows, some form of new video service is definitely in the works, different from "others you've seen or used." PSN currently only lets users download videos such as game trailers; by contrast, Microsoft's Xbox Live service has let users rent movies and buy TV shows for some time.
Also bearing a resemblance to the Xbox are plans to allow XMB access in the middle of a game. XMB is the main menu interface found on the PSP and PS3; the difficulty is unlike 360 owners, PS3 gamers cannot call up their outside interface during a game to track friends, invite them into multiplayer matches, or send them messages. Dille states that by the end of the year, some form of in-game XMB will be launched, complete with an Xbox-like achievements system.
Finally, PlayStation Cards will go on sale later this spring, offering another way of paying for games and other material bought through the PlayStation Store. At least initially, denominations will be limited to $20 and $50.