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Custom PS3 Soundtracks Possible |

My friend Todd has an Xbox 360, and he enjoys it quite a bit. One capability of that system that he doesn’t make use of, however, is the ability to customize soundtracks in his games. I find that inconceivable! I’m am so tired of crap music I don’t like (especially in EA’s games) that I usually just turn it off. PLAYSTATION 3 games haven’t had this ability to use your own music, but with the 1.80 PS3 SDK, it’s now possible for developers to support this!

This has me excited. I want to hear my own music, like Rhapsody, Rush, Nightwish, and other good music, in my games. And dag nabbit, I want to subject my friends to it, even though they don’t like it!

So developers now have the ability to put this feature in PS3 games. There is a catch, however. It’ll cost them 12MB of RAM to do so. Ouch! But on the other hand, Sony has decreased the overall RAM required by Sony’s OS by 12MB (since the 1.6 release), so you could look at it like a free feature instead, if you like. 🙂 (I know I know. It’s like those ads that say you save money by spending it.)

Sony has added some other capabilities to the system, including the ability to copy an image to the user’s Photo area. This will give you the ability to take screenshots of the game you’re playing and show them to friends. And other stuff too, I guess! 🙂 This costs the developer 3MB of RAM. Another new feature is the ability to use the PSP as a secondary display, like was shown last year where the PSP was used as a rear-view mirror in the F1 game. That particular use of the PSP seems retarded to me, but I’m sure devs will think up some cooler stuff. This ability costs 8MB. Small ouch!

I think this is some pretty cool stuff. These features are good for gamers, and it’s good to see that Sony is decreasing the amount of memory things require. For example, Friend List support has been reduced from an incredible 24MB to a still hefty 16MB, but they’re moving in the right direction. The most important thing, in my mind, is for Sony to continue decreasing these memory sizes. The less memory these features take up, the more of them we can have!

PS3 1.80 SDK

  • According to B3D forums, the SDKs are usually released within timeframe of an FW update.

    So SDK 1.8 was already released quiet some time ago and 1.9 already hit… But since the devs need to incorporate it (and it takes up memory), we will have to wait and see…

    But I see games like GT5P and LBP, that will surely benefit and use this feature.

  • Paranoimia

    I must confess, I’m one of those who can happily do without a custom soundtrack option. It’s a feature that was also available in some games on the original Xbox, and when I had mine, I never once made use of it.

    Music in games these days isn’t THAT annoying, and even if you don’t like it, you can always turn it off. That’s what I’ve always done in the Gran Turismo games – not because the music was particularly bad, but because I don’t like it when I’m ‘driving’, or watching the replays. I prefer just to hear the growl of the engine, and the squeal of the tyres.

    Other games, it just doesn’t suit. I mean, Sony have (probably) spent a fortune on the Lair soundtrack. Are they really going to put in a custom option and let you replace it with the Cheeky Girls?

    I guess it’s down to personal taste, but if including the option is going to impact memory and resources which could be put to better use elsewhere in the game, then I’m happy to do without.

  • Sporty

    I’ve actually never used custom soundtracks on my 360, except once tried it with Maiden on Forza just to see. But since my MP3 collection is over 40GB now and my 360 HDD has been practically full for awhile now I don’t even bother to move MP3s over to it. If I get too bored on a game that’s sounds aren’t too important I’ll just slap on my iPod.

    I wish Sony would do a PC side streaming app. Or if TVercity works in games then damn that would rock.

    One of these days I need to upgrade my car sterio to play acc so I can save space. That’s why I have all MP3s, well that and the fact that my car doesn’t have a iPod connection.

    Well damn. I got kinda far off topic there lol

  • MetalProxy

    When I used to have a 360 I would use the custom soundtrack all the time. I remember blasting Ministry (industrial music) while I was playing CoD2 and it change the game ALOT. The music I was playing made it way more tense compared to the music provided in the game. And sadly my freinds that have 360’s dont use it at all, which is insane considering they like to brag about it.

    And yes some games like Lair and Heavenly sword dont need it at all(custom music), but motorstorm and Fightnight it is an absolute must.

  • James

    depends on the game. racing i like to hear the engines as well, but the cars I like, muscle cars, seem to never have the throaty sound to the exhaust I like to hear (Midnight Club 3 was the closest), but for expansive games like GTA and Test Drive Unlimited, I prefer to hear my music, basically classic rock road songs like Radar Love, Call Me the Breeze, stuff like that, as well as other classic rock like Blue Collar Man, Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo, Long Train Running, etc. I’m just really into classic rock (and some classical. after the early 80s (about 1982), music, IMO started to really suck)

  • Gary

    Custom soundtracks would be great for certain genres such as racing games but I absolutely love the music in Super Stardust HD, especially Planet 2 (Conventina).

    Awesome music, probably some of the best music found in a video game for me.

  • Matt

    I don’t know if everyone understands that custom soundtracks leaves all of the sound effects. It only takes out music. I use this feature all the time on my 360. I just hook in the old Ipod and a few seconds later I have my music. With the remote I can even change songs without stopping the game. It is great for racing, arcade and even online FPS games. It is still one of my favorite things about the 360 (developers had to allow it on the old Xbox). It isn’t really all that great for single player, story driven games. The developers put a ton of work into the sound and they usually do a great job.

    Hopefully the PS3 gets the same amount of support as the 360 does with the games that it will be more commonly used. If it is a similar system to the 360 this should be about even.

  • Darrin

    Well said Matt:

    Racing Games: Definite Yes
    Single Player Campaign: Definite No.
    Online Deathmatch type games: sometimes. good option.
    Arcade Games: sometimes.
    Sports Titles: Probably. Don’t play.

    Basically, good for reflex and sports-like titles but interferes with immersive narrative type experiences.

  • Sporty

    I haven’t tried to use my iPod on my 360 yet. I know last time I tried to use it on my PS3 I had to hard reset my iPod after I plugged it in.

    But one thing that just caught my eye is MGS4 will probably have custom music from Kojima’s speech at Leipzig.

  • I can see alot of interesting feature using the psp as a second display. Look at then number of ways the ds uses its second screen. It lead to some interesting things in rpgs, like the psp being a visual repisitory for characters powers and abilities, or a map of the world. In an fps type game, it could keep track of all your guns and ammo, a map, or even let another player function as a sort of team leader, allocating resources. That could make the main game on the tv have absolutely no HUD at all. It could function like a telephone in gta, ringing, and when you pick it up (press x to answer) the character is answering as well, you hear the call through the phone (the psp).

    There are alot of interesting interaction that could occur, its a matter of whether or not developers are that creative, we all know most of them are lazy and derivitave, and it takes one or two to do something amazing to get the rest on the bandwagon. Why else would there be so many WW2 FPSs?