In an interview with PC World, Sony Director of Network Operations, Eric Lempel, took the time to address questions on their Emmy award-winning XMB interface, and the rumors on the next firmware update. And of course, he did not forget to take a subtle swipe at competitor Microsoft.
Interestingly enough, he talked about a 'hidden update' in the PS3's FW 2.80. "[W]ith 2.80 we implemented something that we didn't talk a lot about," he said.
We actually gave consumers the option to update. What I mean by that is, prior to 2.80 you had to update. So you'd turn on your PS3 and it would say, you know, if you want to to in the store, if you want to play an online game, or go into PlayStation Home, it would say there's an update available, please update before moving any further.
With 2.8 it was an option. Users didn't have to update when it released, and actually weren't prompted to do so because there weren't any costumer-specific functionality. I'd say a majority of consumers out there who just wait to get hit by these updates didn't even know about it. They might still not know about it.
And so now you know.
As for the rumored huge firmware update that's coming out next, which will supposedly overhaul their interface, "What we find is that people really like our current interface. We did redesign the PlayStation Store last April to make some improvements, make it master, make it better, and we're always listening to our consumers," he said, without batting an eyelash, I presume.
Therefore, since everyone else is very much co****table with the existing model, there appears to be no need to remodel it. "No plans right now to do anything like what the competitor has done," he said, in reference to Microsoft's New Xbox Experience (NXE).
Speaking of which:
You know, hey, it's great, if they (Microsoft) like our interface and want to copy it, as long as that's legal, sure. I don't really know how they go about making their plans or the strategy behind them, but if they've found that we're doing something right and they want to coy that, more power to them.