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Why do PS3 games not allow custom sound tracks?

#1 steve_k   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   397 Posts   Joined 15.3 Years Ago  

Posted 09 October 2009 - 06:48 PM

The old Xbox had a built-in hard drive, allowing you to transfer your own CDs to the hard drive and listen to them while playing your game. Quite a few games took advantage of this. This is why I chose the Burnout games on Xbox instead of PS2. The gameplay was great, but the music was horrible. Thankfully, I could replace that crappy music with classic Metallica. It was a perfect fit.

I have about ten PS3 games, and none of them support customized sound tracks. In fact, the only game I've seen that allows you to play your own music is Zen Pinpall.

Why don't PS3 games allow custom sound tracks from the music you have transferred to your hard drive?

#2 nightmare452   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   2484 Posts   Joined 11.8 Years Ago  


Posted 09 October 2009 - 07:33 PM

Was never on Sony's radar when they designed the PS3. And since the firmwire update that added the feature, it depends on the specific developers whether to include custom soundtracks on their PS3 games, which 95% don't even bother to implement.

#3 fizzywix   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   1540 Posts   Joined 11.1 Years Ago  

Posted 09 October 2009 - 07:38 PM

I wish it was supported universally :[

I think Skate 2 and Burnout Paradise support it

#4 Kanik   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   366 Posts   Joined 13.8 Years Ago  

Posted 09 October 2009 - 07:43 PM

It should be standard for all sports games and games with online modes.

#5 RoganSarine   Goomba's Elf CAGiversary!   917 Posts   Joined 10.6 Years Ago  


Posted 09 October 2009 - 07:56 PM

It should be standard for all games that have it in the 360 version -- especially EA games with their horrid sound tracks.

#6 bluedotlounge   CAGiversary! CAGiversary!   739 Posts   Joined 14.8 Years Ago  


Posted 09 October 2009 - 08:04 PM

Because Uncharted 2, as awesome as it is, can't handle Dokken.

#7 Mana Knight   Cloud Strife CAGiversary!   14401 Posts   Joined 15.3 Years Ago  

Mana Knight

Posted 09 October 2009 - 08:23 PM

Most of the reason relates to MS owning a software patent on the feature, where the OS can cut out the in-game music, and replace it with a custom soundtrack. In order for Sony to avoid infringing upon the patent, they had to make is where developers have to provide the code to access the XMB music, instead of the PS3 OS automatically doing it.

The Story is right here (although its a little old. It was NOT an April's Fools joke despite the date:

One of the most wanted features missing from the Playstation 3 is the ability to use a custom soundtrack during gameplay. Movement has been made in this area with some games beginning to offer support, notably Super Stardust HD and High Velocity Bowling, but it’s yet to be offered for all games.

Though many expect the inclusion to come when Sony supports an in-game version of Playstation 3’s cross media bar, the implementation of this feature might just stay with the developers, since Microsoft owns a patent for this very functionality.

Microsoft implemented the ability to play your own music during gameplay in their first gaming system, the Xbox. The functionality naturally moved over to the Xbox 360, where Microsoft was patiently waiting for a patent to go through.

The custom soundtrack patent was submitted well before the release of the 360, presumably with the intention to lock down the feature for the next generation. It wasn’t issued until mid-2006, luckily just before the US/Japan release of the Playstation 3.

The US patent named “Method and Apparatus for Creating and Playing Soundtracks in a Gaming System” appears to cover any application that allows users to create soundtracks using their own audio tracks, such that they can be played during the execution of the game instead of the game’s default soundtrack.

Comprising of a thorough list of points and diagrams, the patents stand out claim is outlined thus:

1. A method comprising:

- receiving a request to launch a game in a gaming system;
determining whether the game has a user-associated soundtrack;
- if the game has a user-associated soundtrack:
launching the game; and
playing the user-associated soundtrack;

- if the game does not have a user-associated soundtrack:
allowing a user of the gaming system to select a soundtrack to play while the game is executed; and
playing a default soundtrack if the user of the gaming system does not select a soundtrack.

What does this mean for Microsoft’s competitors? Will this patent stop Sony from implementing the console-wide custom soundtrack functionality? This is possible, and could be the reason why it has been missing from the Playstaiton 3 for so long.

Sony may have already found a loophole in the patent to allow them to provide custom soundtracks for particular games, as long as the functionality is not system-wide. In this way they could avoid the patent. Microsoft could charge Sony for the privilege, but it would be a lot of wasted effort to patent this particular feature and then allow competitors to implement it.

Therefore, when Sony’s in-game XMB eventually comes around, custom soundtracks might be left on the cutting room floor. It will all depend on how constricting the patent actually is, and how kind Microsoft are feeling. Reasons for the in-game XMB delay may be found here - Sony are trying their best to get custom soundtracks installed legally.


Here is a link to the actual patent, it's real:


The method and apparatus described herein provide the ability to create, edit, and play soundtracks in a gaming system. The soundtracks include one or more audio tracks copied or retrieved from one or more audio sources (such as an audio CD, an audio DVD, a game disc, or an online source containing audio files). Soundtracks are stored on a hard disk drive in the gaming system and can be played back through the gaming system. Additionally, soundtracks stored in the gaming system can be associated with a particular game such that the soundtrack is played (instead of the game's default soundtrack) while the game executes. This system allows the user to choose or create a soundtrack based on the user's audio preferences, and does not limit the user to the game soundtrack provided by the game developer.

Also, part of it has to do with various OS limitations and how the PS3 OS was initially designed (making it somewhat impossible for older games to use it. Some older games don't even have in-game XMB, like Lost Planet, Need for Speed Carbon, some parts of Hot Shots Golf: OoB, Enchanted Arms, etc.)

MS owns various other patents, such as a patent for controller light turning on when you receive a notification, having a jack in the controller for a headset (which is why no other platforms have it), and many more.

#8 luan87us   I am cheap! CAGiversary!   1839 Posts   Joined 11.4 Years Ago  

Posted 09 October 2009 - 09:07 PM

Like other had said it's the developer of the game's choice to implement the feature. I personally never use this feature on Xbox 360. I don't like my game sound being interrupt with music I will use my stereo or ipod dock to listen to music while gaming.

#9 DD83   'nives 'n 'nades CAGiversary!   8724 Posts   Joined 12.1 Years Ago  

Posted 09 October 2009 - 09:54 PM


It's good to have you back... ;):lol:

But, didn't someone (that "sony insider" on n4g forums) say that it's less to do with patents and more to do with EA not wanting their earlier titles to look inferior/broken if Sony made it a function of the firmware?

#10 Mana Knight   Cloud Strife CAGiversary!   14401 Posts   Joined 15.3 Years Ago  

Mana Knight

Posted 09 October 2009 - 10:28 PM

But, didn't someone (that "sony insider" on n4g forums) say that it's less to do with patents and more to do with EA not wanting their earlier titles to look inferior/broken if Sony made it a function of the firmware?

That insider got many other things wrong. However, the insider was partially right because the amount of memory developers had to work with was quite small, which made it difficult for some devs to get their 360 games running on PS3 (such as EA). In order to get the allow for more memory to be allocated to the developers, OS features had to be cut. Eh, long explanation, but that's partially true also. Still, the reason also relates to MS owning the patent, because you better bet MS would sue Sony (and the last thing Sony needs is another lawsuit) if Sony pretty much copied it.