A post on the PlayStation Blog by Eric Lempel, Sony's Director of PlayStation Network Operations, has confirmed that, come firmware update 2.40, in-game XMB access is going to be added to the PS3 alongside a new feature being referred to as "Trophies". Methinks something similar to Achievements on the Xbox is planned.
The latter is apparently "an exciting new feature that we'll be providing more details on soon" it is the former update that really interests me and, I don't doubt, near enough every PlayStation 3 owner out there. Slightly disappointing is that no mention was made on what level of functionality will be available.
Hopefully Sony will at least equal the Xbox 360's ability to send messages to friends, play music and so forth without having to leave the comfort of Metal Gear Solid 4.
We'll have to wait for version 2.36 of the PS3 firmware to be released first, apparently improving system stability, before 2.40 will make its way to consoles. Lempel does at least promise more information about the update soon - including the mysterious Trophies.