For those that don’t own a PS3 or don’t know about the drama, the PS3 has shipped, all the way up until this point, with no Achievement-like system, so there is not recognition for completing milestones in video games, etc. Also there has been no support for in-game cross-media-bar navigation, which completely rules out chatting with friends while you are in a particular game… you have to be in that game’s chat channel and that’s it.
Also forget messaging your friends while you are playing a game. So basically you had to do all the social stuff from the main desktop of the PS3 if you wanted to do it (unlike the Xbox 360).
The big hold-out has been for Playstation Home which was suppose to be a 3D world, not unlike Second Life, where you existed and matched with friends and played games. But that service has slipped year after year in development.
Finally the Firmware 2.4 for the PS3, due out “in weeks”, will forgoe the crazy 3d-world approach to socializing and playing games and add the in-game cross media bar support everyone has been waiting on.
Above are leaked screenshots of the service and how it will look. I have it on good authority that these are real.