The XROSSMEDIABAR (pronounced cross-media bar and officially
abbreviated as XMB) is a graphical user interface developed by Sony
Interactive Entertainment . The interface features icons that are
spread horizontally across the screen. Navigation moves the icons,
instead of a cursor . These icons are used as categories to organize
the options available to the user. When an icon is selected on the
horizontal bar, several more appear vertically, above and below it.
They, in turn, are selectable by the up and down directions on a
Originally used on the PSX (a
PlayStation 2 with an integrated
digital video recorder ), the XMB is used as the default interface on
PlayStation Portable and
PlayStation 3 . Since 2006, it has
also been used in high-end
WEGA TVs , the
BRAVIA starting with the
3000 (only in S-series and above), the Sony XEL-1 OLED TV, HDTV
Blu-ray players, some Sony
Cyber-shot cameras and the
high-end AV receivers. The Sony Ericsson K850, W595, W760 and W910
feature a version of the XMB as their media menu. The XMB is also the
menu system in the new generation of Sony's
BRAVIA TVs. Sony has also
added the XMB to its latest range of
The interface won the Technology "> The PS3's XMB interface
PlayStation 3 version of the
XrossMediaBar includes ten
categories of options: Users, Settings, Photo, Music, Video, TV/Video
Services, Game, Network,
PlayStation Network, and Friends. The dynamic
lines on the background are more condensed into a 'ribbon' rather than
the PSP's large waves, unselected icons shrink slightly and every
selectable background color has been made a shade darker. The PS3
includes the following particular abilities: to store various master
and secondary user profiles; to manage and explore photos with PHOTO
GALLERY or an ordinary musical/non-musical slideshow; to rip audio CDs
, rip iTunes AAC protected files, to copy tracks to an attached
storage device; and to play music, movies and video files from the
hard disk drive, from an optional USB mass storage or Flash card, or
from an optical disc (
Blu-ray Disc or DVD-Video). It also has
compatibility for a USB keyboard and mouse and a full web browser
supporting downloading of multiple file types. The Friends menu allows
email with emoticons and attached picture features and video chat
which requires an optional webcam (although the
PlayStation Eye and
EyeToy are official webcams, most USB webcams will work). The
PlayStation Network menu allows online shopping through the
PlayStation Store .
PlayStation 3 adds the ability to multitask in ways such as
listening to stored audio files while surfing the web or looking at
PlayStation 3 XMB supports a variety of file formats
PlayStation 3 System Software ). The PS3 reserves 48 MB of RAM at
all times for XMB functions.
IN-GAME XMB MENU
Sony Computer Entertainment
Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) and many other sources
state that in-game XMB was the single most requested feature for the
PS3 in 2007. In-game XMB functionality was debuted before the launch
of the PS3 by SCEI but was omitted due to technical reasons from the
official launch. The feature was added to the
PlayStation 3 on July 2,
2008 via system update 2.40. However, roughly eleven hours after its
release, download of the system update was disabled amidst isolated
reports of problems reported by small groups of users since installing
the update. Users who had not already downloaded the update were only
able to download the previous version, 2.36. On July 8, 2008, System
Software version 2.41 was released for the
PlayStation 3 which
restored the in-game XMB functionality of version 2.40 and addressed
the problems Sony had found in 2.40. All of these issues were
addressed in the 2.40 system update. Although the ability to play
users' own music in-game was added with this update, the feature is
dependent on game developers who must enable the feature in their
games, perhaps by updating existing games.
Prior to the update, basic forms of XMB friends lists could be found
in some modern (August 2007 or newer) PS3 games including; Resistance:
Fall of Man (Since the 1.1 patch), Warhawk , Rock Band , Call of Duty
4: Modern Warfare , Kane "> Sony has also collaborated with Stanford
University to bring the
Folding@home project to the PS3. Once
downloaded, the program can be configured to run when the system is
idle or executed manually from the XMB.
Folding@home has now been
Life with PlayStation , which has been discontinued as
of November 2012.
BRAVIA TVs that have the XMB, the
BRAVIA version of the
XrossMediaBar includes seven categories of options. These include:
Settings, Photo, Music, Video, Digital, Analogue, and External Inputs.
BRAVIA XMB menu works similarly to the in-game XMB menu on the
PS3, except with the "Home" button instead. Therefore, it lacks a
background and is not BRAVIA's start up menu. Like the PSP and PS3, it
has the ability to perform system updates and access the user's music
and video on the TV. Unique to the
BRAVIA XMB however, is the ability
to view digital channel information just by scrolling through the
items on the menu. Although inputs can be instantly selected through
the TV, XMB also handles the devices plugged into the TV along with
the TV channels. Analogue channels, unlike digital channels, do not
display channel information on the XMB.
Generally, the XMB requires 8 different options on a controller. A
4-way directional pad is used to choose categories (using the left and
right directions) as well as highlighting options or actions within
these categories (using the up and down directions). Two additional
buttons are required to select items which are highlighted, as well as
to return to the previous "level" of menus (Usually and ) although
usually pressing the left directional button will bring the XMB back
to the previous menu and using the start button to start software.
Another button is required to display an option menu on a certain item
(usually ). Some items might not have an option menu. Additionally,
is used to group files on the XMB.
The XMB can also be controlled by using the
BRAVIA TV remote control
BRAVIA TVs and PS3 slim models) and by using the PlayStation
Move controller by waving the Move around left to right as well as up
and down. The controls have been cited as being similar to the film
Minority Report .
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