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The PlayStation Network is slowly but surely breaking the shackles that tie it to mediocrity. When compared with Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE, Sony’s equivalent far too often falls short. Perhaps, however, the fact that it is free of charge tends to allow it to hold its head high and compete with the best, while updates are gradually bringing the service up to speed.

According to a post made by reps of the Psyonix Studios team, who developed recently released PSN title Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle-Cars, Sony has the new update planned for release “later this month”.

“Sony mentioned a bug they fixed with the next system software update (2.7.0) that might resolve these issues” the blogger wrote, referring to a bug in their own game, “but we have to narrow it down and verify it’s the same problem to be sure it’s that and not something we need to fix on our end.”

This was followed by a further rep, who was as bold as to say: “IIRC (if I recall correctly) it will drop later this month. And contain lots of fun new fixes. I’m excited about this one, lots of new stuff.”

These comments have since been taken down, which can only mean that Psyonix have touched a nerve with Sony. I imagine that a small squad of Helghast soldiers were sent round to their offices to “clean this mess up”, but maybe that’s because I’ve spent far too long on Helghan over the past week. Either way, the rumor is backed up by some leaks that occured last month, which suggested the following improvements were due to feature in the upcoming firmware update:

Friends List:

  • Voice Messaging is now available as an alternative to text after selecting a user on the friends list. Voice message recordings are capped at 30 seconds.
  • Home Integration: Saved Playstation Home avatar photos can be selected as photo ID for Gamer Card/Friends List.
  • Trophy number and Gamer Level are listed under Friend names for quick reference.

Gamer Card & Trophies:

  • Gamer Card layout has been changed to more closely resemble the Playstation Store aesthetic.
  • Past Trophy information can be viewed in detail by selecting “Recent Trophy History” option.
  • Newly aquired trophies auto-sync in the background
  • Server infrastructure for Trophies has been optimized. Resulting in faster retrieval time for Gamer Card and Trophy information.

In-Game XMB:

  • Loading time for In-Game XMB has been drastically reduced, resulting in a more seemless in-game experience.
  • “Theme settings” options while in-game is now available, allowing custom themes to be applied to the In-Game XMB.
  • Internet Browser can now be accessed while in-game.
  • Voice messaging and voice chat options can be used while in-game.
  • Options that cannot be used in the XMB during game sessions are grayed out (but still selectable) to eliminate user accessibility confusion.

With the recent release of Killzone 2, PlayStation 3 owners are now more than ever lining up to use the service. I’m sure they will be glad to see that the already stellar service is (maybe) due to receive another shot in the arm.

  1. Friends list voice messaging will be awesome.

    • avatar Mukesh

      The PlayStation Network in Europe was experiencing isuses last week, preventing users from adding money to their PlayStation Wallet among other isuses. Sony Europe has confirmed that the isuses have now been resolved via their twitter account. The original issue list can be found in the original article.

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