2.40 In-Game Music: What’s New About It?


Lots of people have been vexed by the lack of in-game music control after updating to firmware version 2.40. Wasn’t this supposed to be one of the features of the new firmware? Sony certainly touts it as such, and give a demonstration using PixelJunk Monsters in one of their firmware videos.

Talking to Gary, I find out that this feature is NOT supported by PixelJunk Monsters. The version of PJM in the video must have been a “special” version. Other people have tried other games, and sure enough, in-game soundtrack support is just not there.

Now, this isn’t surprising really. Because the fine print says that this new feature is only available in games that support it. Okay…

But then – what is new about this feature? Super Stardust HD suppported in-game soundtracks before firmware 2.40. Other games did as well. So why is Sony touting this as a new feature in firmware 2.40? We’ve had in-game soundtrack support for a while now, for games that support it.

Here’s my guess.

Prior to 2.40, if a developer wanted to use in-game soundtrack support, they’d have to give up some of their own precious memory resources to use it. I’m thinking that now that 2.40 has hit, it’s now fully integrated into the runtime PS3 OS, so developers no longer have to take a memory hit to use this feature. Makes sense, right? Maybe that’s why the upcoming Cagney update for Burnout Paradise adds soundtrack support, but is being released after firmware 2.40.

Can anyone confirm or deny? Anyone have contacts at Sony? :)


Written by: Blackstaffer - News Contributor


  1. #1 by Darrin on July 2nd, 2008 [ 17143 Points ]

    Pre 2.4, almost no games (SSHD is a lone exception) supported custom soundtracks (even other first party titles), so I think it’s safe to say that it wasn’t quite ready yet.

    I’m guessing that 2.4 makes it much easier for devs to support custom soundtracks and provide a better end-user interface.

    I expect most future games to support this where it makes sense, but previously released titles may not.

  2. #2 by LeoTheLudo on July 2nd, 2008

    Ingame music has been possible for developers to use since the 1.80 SDK which was released some time in August of 2007.

    http://www.innerbits.com/blog/2007/08/21/ps3-180-sdk/

  3. #3 by LeoTheLudo on July 2nd, 2008

    From innerbits:

    “The second new utility is a music utility, which will allow developers to give consumers the choice of streaming their own music in game. This utility’s current weight – a hefty 12MB – is likely to be reduced in future releases. Readers should note that the Xbox 360 supports a similar feature (at no extra cost to developers).”

    I’m not very much in to tech, but I suppose that the “hefty 12MB” has been lowered

  4. #4 by Henning on July 2nd, 2008 [ 0 Points ]

    That’s my guess.

  5. #5 by ehandlr on July 2nd, 2008 [ 44532 Points ]

    Rumor has it that MS has a patent on hardware enabling background music. Meaning Sony has to take this avenue to add it. If true…thats one F’ed up patent and its hard to believe it would be allowed.

  6. #6 by Gary on July 2nd, 2008 [ 1780 Points ]

    Why did they physically use PJM to showcase how you could turn off the game soundtrack, go to the XMB AND PLAY YOUR OWN MUSIC?!!!! :evil:

    I’m really annoyed by this. What happened from the time that they showed this in the video walkthrough to the Firmware being released?

  7. #7 by Jay on July 2nd, 2008

    lol@you guys

    i read on the blog that in-game soundtracks are more open for devs now. As for the games that support it, it’s not on Sony’s part, the devs of the game itself would have to release a patch to allow it (maybe that PJM video was an update that’s going through QA) like trophy support

  8. #8 by Pc on July 2nd, 2008

    I don’t believe that you can put a patent on being able to push a button and play music thats already yours, and on your hdd. They need to program this into the system to where it completely overrides the in-game music, then you must go and turn the game music off (just like the 360, or my pc). Why would they make this portion of the update require the devs, to send out a patch, and/or allow it ??!!

  9. #9 by James on July 2nd, 2008

    that would still require a patch. Before the update came out, the developers had their own way of coding the in-game soundtrack and didn’t use a universal way of disabling a game’s original soundtrack to be replaced by a custom. It wasn’t a PS3 feature until now. so now developers have to code into their games a way to play custom soundtracks, since the PS3 itself doesn’t have a way to decipher what is in-game soundtrack and what isn’t (if you mean play the music over all the sound, then that’ll have to be on Sony’s part, but what about music with the game’s sound effects, etc? That’s developer’s side). When I play my games, I still like to hear the sound effects.

  10. #10 by James on July 2nd, 2008

    Also, a note, San Andreas on PC had custom soundtrack support that played through the radio, and not the whole time you’re playing. I think that’s kinda what Sony wants custom soundtracks to be like in their games, so it’s not constantly playing (the only games that’d work fine for are arcade games and racing games). Other than that, I prefer to hear the cutscenes, etc. without the music playing, because it’d irritate me. hat’s why I rarely ever use custom soundtracks on my 360. The only game I used custom soundtracks for was Smackdown ’08 because I could use a song for a custom wrestler’s entrance music

  11. #11 by Trigga_Tybalt on July 3rd, 2008 [ 26623 Points ]

    James, would be great if music only played when the game intends to play music. i would love GT5 to play custom soundtracks just like it plays the music already. although using more than one song during a race would be nice…


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