Uncharted Territory
Registered: 12/18/2008
2091 posts

Re: A New PS3 XMB Coming???

May 1, 2011

With the coming webkit port using Cairo, multiple PS3 applications are going to get rewrites, XMB included (my opinion).  The look and feel will probably remain close to what we have now with multiple user choice configurations.  

The implications for the Cairo webkit port can be read here:


Cairo ( Industry standard upper level SVG library for GPU calls) and Gstreamer (industry standard Audio Video stream manager, all things AV with 150+ plugins) have been announced as Sony Open Source libraries used in their SNAP program (Networked products which includes the PS3) and Cairo has been announced as being the Webkit port backend. Firefox uses both Cairo and Gstreamer as will the coming PS3 webkit port.

Cairo announcements:



SNAP has a re-architected display model and backend based on Cairo evolving toward COLLADA over time. Our look and feel also includes navigation metaphors derived from standard Sony UX constructs such as our XrossMediaBar.

"re-architected display model and backend based on Cairo evolving toward supporting COLLADA " gamesCOLLADA is an open source standard file format for game assets.

The above is a BIG statement, re-architected means they are going to change the way they display from what they use now to Cairo based. Back end means low level PSGL, so the basic backbone for graphics on Sony products will be built on the upper level cairo rather than low level GPU calls. And they expect that upper level Cairo to evolve to support the feature set needed by games. PSGL is not OpenGL and Cairo may be a way to standardize graphics/GPU calls by supporting Cairo with Sony developed PSGL. The end result is Cairo on any platform be it PSGL supported or OpenGL will produce the same results.

PS Suite may use cairo.

The Snap Developer program uses GNUstep derived open source libraries. Cairo is GNUstep and has been evolving with OpenGL as it evolved. It has now, as of January 2011, been released as a stable library and the webkit based on Cairo Feb 2011. The GNUstep GUI toolkit is X11 based but the industry is moving to Cairo based GUI toolkits (GTK3 is an example) because they are scaleable Vector Graphics and with OpenGL or PSGL as a backend to Cairo, a Cairo supported webkit, Gstreamer binding with Cairo, Cairo/Pongo fonts and all graphics calls with the upper level Cairo results in an efficient total package for resource limited platforms.

Tweet posted from Sony employee 7-25-2010 saying big upgrade coming in two months:

And two months later 9/28/2010 PS3 firmware 3.5 was released with a HTML5 Webkit javascript engine.

Gstreamer & Cairo in SNAP  In the following picture Cairo is part of the GNUstep library.

Gstreamer in red box below

All applications are getting a rewrite using Cairo. "re-architected display model and backend based on Cairo" Not games or possibly the Game XMB.

1) Because it's an industry standard

2) It is an ecosystem standard (SVG graphics)

3) It results in more efficient and smaller applications

4) With everything based on Cairo the kernel and memory footprint can be smaller.

5) IP is more easily portable

6) System fonts are going to be Cairo-Pongo

7) Cairo-Gstreamer allows manipulation of Video

The key is webkit, since cairo has to be resident for everything webkit related, which I assume is going to be a big part of the XMB, cairo and Cairo-pongo have to be in the kernel. It does not make sense in a resource limited console to have multiple font engines or bitmap graphics and display libraries in the kernel and memory at the same time. Second, with Cairo being used for the PS3 XMB and NGP it will be easier to have PS3 remote desktop on the NGP and multiple XMB versions for the multiple controllers (Move, Sixaxis, Touchscreen Android and NGP as well as touchscreen keyboards).

There are lua bindings for Cairo and I believe that the HTML5 Javascript engine now in the PS3 and with the latest Home client update, that both are using Cairo. 

This multi touch keyboard and others like it will impact the design of the XMB: 

"Behold the future (of keyboards). New from far away lands comes this $69 wireless slim keyboard with “Smart TouchPad.” See that touchpad in the lower right corner there? It’s a multitouch trackpad that switches to a ten-key number pad — like magic!

The multitouch feature registers a series of two- and three-finger presses for scrolling, zooming, window switching, tapping, and more."

It's priced right, I'd buy one today if I knew the PS3 will support it. It should result in a large user base supporting touchscreen games on the PS3. People who use ios, Android or the coming NGP would feel right at home on the PS3 with the this keyboard or something similar. This I guess is the reason this keyboard was created and I suspect the PC world is going to support multi-touch for desktops which means everyone will support it. The coming webkit port begs for something like this!

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