What is XMB?

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What is XMB?
XrossMediaBar is officially abbreviated as XMB and pronounced as cross-media bar. Sony Computer Entertainment developed this GUI or Graphical User Interface. The main feature of the new GUI is that the icons are horizontally placed across the screen. When a user navigates the screen, the icons move instead of the cursor. The icons represent categories, which are utilized to organize available options to a user.

The new graphical user interface is distinctively different from the old GUI. Try to select an icon from the horizontal bar. It will display more icons but the screen will display them vertically. The icons displayed vertically are sub categories and are selectable by using the up and down arrow keys of the device (i.e. PlayStation Portable).

The XMB graphical user interface was first introduced in Sony’s PSX. The product was launched in Japan on 13 December year 2003. PSX was the original Sony product, which was the first to utilize this XMB GUI. Later on, XMB was used as the default GUI for PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3. In 2006, the WEGA TVs, a high-end television also made by Sony utilized the XMB. All the BRAVIA with 3000 S-series and above are also using the same GUI, as well as Sony Cyber shot cameras.

Later on, the XMB was also introduced in Sony Ericsson mobile phones. The K850, W760, W595, W910 are utilizing their own XMB version. This indicates that Sony Ericsson considers implementing XMB as their media menu for the future Sony Ericsson mobile telephones. Today, the XMB GUI technology is also being featured on the latest Sony VAIO laptops.

To use the XMB GUI, the D-pad (directional pad) or the analog stick may be used. Users can set controls, select games, movies or music through the vertically arranged sub categories. Scrolling the vertically arranged subcategories can be done with the use either the analog stick or the D-Pad.

XMB was designed so that users may have an option to arrange features or categories in folders. The triangle button is used to learn more about a feature. If a user presses the triangle on a highlighted feature, the user may be able to perform modification or deletion of a feature. Selecting information may direct a user to the website of a specific game installed on the PSP.

The year 2007 is the year when Sony permitted users to alter the XMB background. This started users to use their own choice of pictures stored in their hard drives or wallpapers from PSN store to be used as XMB background. More XMB customizations were brought when Firmware 2.00 was released. It enables users to select background colors. More custom themes were also introduced for the PlayStation 3.

Firmware 2.00 brought many changes to the PlayStation 3 regarding the background appearance, sounds and icons of XMB. However, when Firmware 3.00 was released, more changes were brought out. Firmware 3.00 altered the PlayStation 3 logo. Sparkling effect on the background was also evident. Moreover, when using the default theme and background of PlayStation 3, users will be amazed on how the background color changes every time the 15th and the 24th day of the month arrive.

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