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Date set for next major PS3 firmware release

In-game messaging and play trophies due within weeks

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The next major firmware update for the PS3 goes live within two weeks, it's been claimed. The new system software gives gamers access to the much-hyped in-game messaging and video chat facility.

According to a report on Dutch news site PS Only, an anonymous source has confirmed that firmware 2.4 will be made available by Sony on 18 June. In-game chat and video are expected to become accessible through stocky updates to Sony’s XMB interface. But you’ll need additional hardware, such as Sony’s PS3 Eye camera, to make use of video calls.

In March Sony UK executive Ray Maguire said the firmware update would be released this summer, but he never stamped a launch date in concrete. At the time, he said Sony’s “momentum will continue with the introduction of in-game communication in the summer [and] firmware update 2.4”. Understandably, this led most gamers to believe that version 2.4 would introduce both features.

Also rumoured to be included in version 2.4 is a so-called Trophy feature. This is expected to be a rewards system that gives gamers exclusive graphics that they can show off to other gamers, much like the achievements doled out by Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

Sony’s official lines of communication are keeping mum about an 18 June launch for the time being.

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