Does Modern Warfare 2 Finally Fix The PS3’s Invite System?

Sony’s PS3 interface, the XMB, has been steadily growing since its launch in 2006 – constantly evolving, not always in the right direction, but at least we’re getting a trickle feed of new features every few months.  One thing we don’t properly have yet, though, is a universal cross-game invite system, the ability to invite your friends to a game regardless of what game they’re currently playing themselves.  Sure, some games have it written into the software, but the system is neither univeral nor straightforward, especially compared with the slick, easy to use 360 alternative which works for every game straight out of the box because it’s part of the system.

But back to the PS3, and in particular Activision’s Modern Warfare 2, which does at least attempt to incorporate a decent invite system, which you can do from two directions.  The first, an actual invite, is done by the host from within a game – I tried this when playing a bit of co-op with Michael the other day and it’s fine – not perfect, but it works pretty slickly and assuming your friend is watching the pop-up notifications you shouldn’t have any problem putting together a party.  Where MW2 excels, though, is in the way you can use the PS3’s XMB to actually join a game, something of a first for PlayStation 3 owners looking to get into some online action.

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There are two ways to do this: the first is to navigate to your friends name on the XMB, press Triangle and then select ‘Join Session’, and the second (and totally brand new to PS3) way is by selecting your Friend’s name on the XMB, bringing up their gamercard, and then at the bottom you will see five icons. The first one, which has a picture of a controller, is the ‘Modern Warfare 2 Menu’. By selecting this icon a smaller menu will come up with the option to ‘Join Session’ & ‘Invite to Game’. This is great, and the way it should be done, but it seems that these options are only available if you are currently playing Modern Warfare 2 as well.

This is actually a really cool feature, and one that personally I’d not seen before until reader AJ pointed it out to us. When most PS3 games are struggling to get themselves a decent invite system within the game that actually works 100% it appears that Sony have already done the hard work on the system’s XMB interface and it just needed a high profile game to show developers how it’s meant to be done. The multiple ways to get into a Friend’s game in Modern Warfare 2 show how simple such a service should be, and why it doesn’t have to all be done in customised code – the best, most efficient way is already in place. Other developers, take note.

Thanks, AJ.

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