Just like you don’t need this burger, Fatty, you don’t need an in-game XMB

Today is the start of a new Ripten mid-week feature, where I, the resident Brit, get to rant about an issue in the gaming industry. This weeks rant concerns the much wanted In-Game XMB for the Playstation 3.

There was some fuss over the last PS3 firmware update before it even hit. 2.0 was rumoured to contain a number of much wanted things – such as being able to play your own music during games, or bring up the cross-media bar (XMB) during gameplay. This final feature is perhaps the most wanted by Playstation owners, but I’m here to say they don’t need it.

To me this is obvious, and it may also be to you and I’m sorry if I’m about to patronise you with subtleties, but somehow I think that what I’m about to say might be a revolution to those muppets at Sony.

You don’t need or want to look at photos while you’re playing a game. You don’t want or need to watch videos/movies on your system while you’re playing a game. You don’t want or need to surf the Internet while you’re playing a game. You don’t want to go onto the Playstation Store while you’re playing a game. You don’t even particularly want to change your systems settings while you’re playing a game.

This is what you don’t need – you don’t need these options that are on the cross-media bar to come up during gameplay.

You already know this, so why do you want an in-game XMB? You’re personally holding back Sony by telling them you want this, by making them implement all the XMB features into one update, you’re holding us back from what we really need.

To prove that you’re responsible for Sony’s dilly dallying, I shall quote Peter Dille, Sony’s Senior VP of Marketing, who wandered onto the subject in an interview with GameInformer:

As far as in-game XMB access, we know it’s a feature that’s important to our consumers. Because PS3 packs so much advanced technology ‘under the hood’, it takes some time to implement major, new functionalities, but we are working hard on addressing this feature, as well as continually expanding the capabilities and functionalities of PS3.

You see what he says? All this mumbo jumbo about taking time to implement “major, new functionalities” and that the feature is “important to our customers”. You greedy little leprechauns, what have you done!? Sony is spending so much time making sure that an in-game XMB is perfect — this could take them another year to get everything ‘under the hood’ working to their ridiculously high standards.

So what am I waffling on about? Of course we need an in-game XMB, I hear you cry at me in a slight tone of annoyance. No, what you need is in-game messaging, and voice-chat to friends who are playing other games. This is what you need.

Yes in-game music would be nice, but it can wait (surely). If we could get the message to Sony, that all we desperately need is in-game messaging and voice-chat with those on our friends list, then perhaps they could give it to us now, or soon, instead of trying to get everything to work for this “in-game XMB”.

Lets set the scene. You want to play Warhawk with your friend who is currently playing Uncharted. You send him a message. They can only see what you want if you write “Want to play Warhawk now?” in the title box, since this will come up as a notification while they are playing. But wait, the title box can only be a certain amount of characters long, so it comes out as “Want to play Wa”. Already frustrating.

You now wait for your buddy to quit Uncharted and come play. But what if they don’t want to straight away? What if they intend to join you in 10 minutes? They aren’t just going to quit and tell you that. So you wait and wait and wait. You finally give up and go into Warhawk and enter a game.

You get engrossed in the game, but suddenly recieve a message from your buddy, asking “What game you in?” WTF!? You’re not quitting out of the game that you are pwning in, just to tell him which game it is. Maybe he can find you anyway.

Uh-oh! “The Game is Full” is what you’re friend sees…he’d love to be able to tell you that he can’t get into your game and ask you to quit so you can join him in another game, but he just can’t be bothered. So he enters his own game. Both friends playing Warhawk, but not with each other.

The amount of times this has happened to me is many, and it shouldn’t be this way! It’s very simple. People CAN already send messages to each other in-game, since we get a little notification. But why oh why can’t we read the message and then open a mini keyboard, not even a predicative text keyboard, so we can reply to them. Why not let us speak to them with our mics?

This is what we need. Thus, start a revolution with me. Stop asking for an in-game XMB and make sure Sony knows that we’d prefer in-game messaging now, and the holistic package can come later.

If there is something you would like to rant about, feel free to contact us or comment below.


  1. I really find it hard to believe that Sony is daft enough not to realize that Messaging is what we truly want. How could they be that dumb? Although I agree with it, this rant was a waste of your breath. Sony is going to do what they please, surely they already know that messaging would be sufficient…To find out what fans want all they’d have to do was employ 1 guy to scour the forums/fan websites and with a little bit of weeding he’d easily know what we need.

  2. Ever play SOCOM? I want ingame website browsing… ingame ps store access… so i have something to do when i die, or so my teammates can get on a website and coordinate plans of attack. I do everything now with my computer next to my ps2, but having it all built in would be nice for those without a PC.

  3. I think that the in-game music, messaging and chatting, all the IMPORTANT stuff should be rolled into one big package for the next update.

  4. wel i’ll tell you what we do need, we need in game messaging because what if your telling some1 to go the lobby in a game, instead of going out of the game, sending, going back in and if they reply, you go back out, send reply and over and over.

    and we just plain want music, and other crap.

  5. i agree with all these people for it i sold my xbox 360 to buy a ps3 and i would like to be able to do the same things i could do on it also i hope you can join games in progress like the 360 but i doubt its gonna happen but atleast we will be able to chat and other things and we meed to access settings when my blu tooth dies and i need to connect another headset i dont wanna exit the game sony hurry.

  6. Chat is all I care about because with chat you can at least tell someone to get there arse into whatever game you want them to play then you invite them into your server or whatever.

    In game music because I hate the music included in most games and since my ps3 is plugged to my massively amazing audio system that can unfortunately only play from 1 sound source at a time so it must be the ps3 outputting the music.

    Would like the xmb in game so I could browse internet while playing a single player game and pausing it or watch a vid or something. But that one is less important.

    Really I don’t see why its so hard to do isn’t 1 core of the cell processor + 64mb ram used only for the xmb (even in game) why is it hard to make the ps button switch XMB on in game?

  7. The XMB is the existing interface so why would they design something completely different – of course we need it!

    I could possibly count from the past a time when I would have liked to have been able to get back to the XMB for a different feature (each time) without QUITTING the game.

    If it’s possible, it’s welcome.