Why PS3 users screaming for in game XMB may be a bad idea!

Since the Playstation 3 was first launched people have been complaining they can't do the same things as you can on the xbox 360 with regards to online friends list, cross game communication and chat and the ability to play your own music in games. As time has went on the call has changed from we want to be able to chat to friends online, or we want to play our own music in game, to we want in game XMB.

Now why is this a bad thing to ask for? In game XMB isn't want we need you see and asking for it may harm the playstation 3 in the long run. Lets look at the Xbox 360 here and identify exactly what it does. You would be forgiven for thinking that the Xbox 360 has in game dashboard, it doesn't. When you press the centre Xbox button a little half screen menu pops up, on this menu is your gamertag, it shows you your gamerscore, and online status, which when pressed allows you to change personal info, below this the ability to send messages, see your friend list, and players met. Below that the voice chat and messenger section which allows voice and text chat with people on your friends list. Below this personal setting which allows tweaks to online status themes controller settings etc. Finally there is the music controller which allows access to music stored on the hard drive. Now these options are very powerful, and they allow great functionality, like the ability to chat to a friend while they play another game, and then when you are ready to jump into a multiplayer game together all without ever losing the voice chat. It's quite good and you can see that the playstation 3 suffers from the lack of it.

Now to the point, this menu, shall we call it the minidash, isn't the xbox 360 dashboard, i can't browse the marketplace, see the inside xbox news pages, see my demo and xbox live arcade game collection, browse my achievements list, look at pictures. watch video stored on the hard drive, or change some of the more important settings on the system blade. To put it bluntly the xbox360 has a dashboard with everything and a minidash with just the features you are likely to need while playing a game.

If we ask Sony blindly for in game XMB we run the risk of creating a rod for our own back, we might end up getting what we ask for, the ability to get to the XMB in it's entirety from within a game. The system overheads that this might entail for 512mb of ram might not be to our advantage in the long run.

We need to be specific, we need to say we want messaging and friends list access in game, we want to have voice chat in game and the ability to play music in game. Those really are the only options we need. On the Playstation  3 when you press the playstation button on the controller in game a menu much like the xbox's pops up,  it has options to shut down controller and the system at present, all that is needed is for this to be expanded slightly.

Please see that asking for full in game XMB access is only going to hurt the playstation 3 in the long run.


Dustin said...

You honestly believe that Sony will add the full XMB? This article's BS. Their not going to have the Users, Settings, Photo, Video Network, or PSN icon on it. (Here let me watch my divix copy of Superbad while blasting away Chimera... like that would happen, yet very cool) I'm sure it will be just like what you said about the 360's mini-dash board. Mini-XMB. It will probably be just Music, so you can play custom music, Friends, send/receive messages and chat, and Game where you can quit the game, change controllers, and turn off the system. Just because everybody says we want XMB doesn't mean Sony is going to say, oh ok. Here's the whole XMB lock, stock, and barrel. Terrible article.

Chris said...

I agree with the poster. The PS3 will lose valuable hardware resources to continually run the PS3's OS during gameplay.

Unless I am mistaken, Sony has 1 SPU dedicated to the XMB. But, the XMB basically shuts off during gameplay to dedicate ALL resources to try to provide the best gaming experience.

Dustin said...

You are right Chris, the PS3 does have 1 SPU dedicated toward the XMB, but what the author is saying is about RAM, but here's a little equation.
Full XMB = lots o' RAM
Mini-XMB = not so much.
There's no way that devs are all ready pushing the PS3's RAM limits. Like what other Devs have said who have actually learned to understand the PS3 (Lookin at you Insomniac <3, NOT you EA >:-( ) that there is so much more potential ahead for PS3 development. If games are all ready pushing the barriers, then why hasn't anybody spoken up about it? cause they haven't gotten to the peak yet.

Dustin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maxx Doubt said...


There was a few errors/omissions in this article.

"Finally there is the music controller which allows access to music stored on the hard drive. "

Actually, you can access music on the hard drive, but you can also access music off of a usb device or off of any media sharing device on your network. This is all while online gaming or whenever.

"Now to the point, this menu, shall we call it the minidash, isn't the xbox 360 dashboard, i can't browse the marketplace, see the inside xbox news pages, see my demo and xbox live arcade game collection, browse my achievements list, look at pictures."

First of all...nice run-on sentence guy. Secondly, of course you can access your acheivements from in game. Do you really think that you would have to quit your game to see what acheievemtns there are left to get?

Please know what you are talking about before writing something that people are meant to read.

Seeton said...

All I really care about to have the ability to play my own music during gameplay because ( and I mean no offense to game makers ) some sound tracks are just plain annoying.

Horza Gobuchul said...


I don't honestly believe or want Sony to add the full xmb, the article was to suggest to some that asking for exactly that might be counter productive. If you don't believe me go to some news 4 gamers threads about the subject and see just how many people are actually asking for full xmb without realising what this might mean. In your post you mostly seem to be agreeing with what i say yet you say this is a terrible article?

Maxx doubt

The point you make about music from portable devices such as usb sticks, ipods etc is correct, i didn't list them all there, i didn't think i needed to.
The second point about achievements is correct, i was wrong in what I said, you can access the achievements list in game. I think the only way to do this is to press the guide button when you actually get an achievement and then you can see the list. You can't seem to get there from the minidash/guide. That is what threw me when writing the article as i was examining the guide and could not see a way to get to the achievements. As you rightly put it though the article is wrong.

Tom said...

I guess it was just ignorance on the author's part, but you can access your Achievements list from the 360 in-game dashboard. Why wouldn't you be able to?


Maxx Doubt said...

Thats cool if you're new to 360. Seems weird that you would be the one to write articles about it though

You do not need to hit the xbox button while acheivements are being displayed to access them. In fact it's about the easiest thing there is to do.

From any game (or whenever) you hit the xbopx button to bring up the side blade. Then you press A to go to your profile, then A to look at your games , then A again to look at acheivements for that particular game (sorted by most recent).

To sum up....

Hit xbox button then the A button 2 or 3 times.

That's painfully easy. You probably don't even have a 360 if you haven't figured that one out.

punisher_44 said...

i agree with dustin. do you really think that sony is that stupid? first off, they wouldnt send out the update w/ the in game XMB for download, unless they had fully tested it, and made sure it was fully functional, second, they obviously wouldnt add options that would cause the system to overheat or anything else.

Horza Gobuchul said...

Thanks for that maxx doubt, i did not know you could get to achievements that way. Maybe i am the only one who didn't know that, i don't know.

I am not new to the 360, i have had one since launch in the UK. My gamer tag is "Horza Gobuchul," you can look me up and confirm how long I have been using the 360 for. I stated playing Kameo as it was the game which came with my 360. You should be able to check the date there of my first achievement, i believe it is 01/01/2006. Doing that should also prove that I have a 360. Thanks for your comment.

Boffin92 said...

Go to these two links for my in game xmb design:

Part 1: http://community.eu.playstation.com/showthread.php?t=200545
Part 2: http://community.eu.playstation.com/showthread.php?t=200545

Shaun said...

Uhm, you guys don't understand, there is one core that is ALWAYS turned off at the moment, and 1 core that is ALWAYS dedicated to the XMB/OS, I'm quite sure developers cannot use that core. Also, it's not like it would keep the XMB cached in ram all the time, that would be INCREDIBLY inefficient, and not needed. It would only be having things in ram like the current music track playing, it's not going to keep images and all that nonsense cached, it will be a per-demand method.