"These firmware updates keep both PS3 and PSP in lockstep with consumer expectations for gaming and entertainment, particularly the ability to download PSP games on-the-go, which is a functionality we know consumers can't wait to get their hands on," said Peter Dille, senior vice president of marketing and PlayStation Network, SCEA. "As we approach our second anniversary with PS3, it's remarkable to look back at how much the system has evolved and improved, including its critical link to PSP that effectively extends these entertainment capabilities beyond the home."
PS3 Firmware 2.50 Update
Building upon the foundation set by previous firmware upgrades, the 2.50 system software update will refine existing features while also adding new functionality. The update will deliver exclusive options to support SCEA's Official Bluetooth Headset, as previously announced, such as an on-screen indicator that shows volume, battery charge, and mute functions, as well as a High Quality (HQ) mode, which utilizes advanced wireless technologies and the Headset's dual-microphone design to enable clear and wide-band wireless voice communication with PS3 system. HQ mode greatly improves the voice chat experience in multi-player titles such as SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation, which will be bundled with the Headset when it launches at retail this week.
To further strengthen the gameplay experience on PS3 system, the firmware update will add an in-game screenshot capture tool, laying the groundwork for developers to add capture and sharing options to their games and allowing players to immortalize their favorite gaming moments and share them with friends. Titles that support the feature are expected to be announced in the future.
The 2.50 update also will enhance the user interface for PlayStation Trophies. When players acquire a Trophy, the in-game notification will now include the specific Trophy icon created by the developer, while more intuitive options for comparing Trophies with friends have been added, including an icon to represent the Trophy level. The Trophy system will continue to expand through future firmware updates, catering to the PS3 community and the competitive nature of the more than 12 million registered PlayStation Network users worldwide.
PS3 firmware 2.50 will include:
- Support for the PS3 Official Bluetooth Headset - we’ve told you about the upcoming Bluetooth Headset and SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation Bundle on the Blog. This latest firmware installment enables High-Quality (HQ) mode, which delivers clear and wide-band online voice chat. On top of that, an added on-screen indicator shows battery status, volume level and use of HQ mode.
- PlayStation Trophies interface enhancements - I know that many of you are busy collecting trophies and raising your PlayStation Trophy level. This update makes sharing and comparing your trophies with your friends even easier. On 1st part of the profile page you’ll see a symbol under level that represents level and the actual percentage towards the next level along with the existing level meter. The level symbol carries over to the trophy comparison screen where you will now be able to see your level, your friend’s level and the percentage towards the next level for both users along with all of the game by game comparison information you see today.
- Friend status – Offline friends on your Friends list will have information below their avatars that will indicate how long it has been since they were last online.
- Video – This update adds the Scene Search feature similar to the feature on the PSP. Activating this feature while viewing a video on the PS3 will break the video up into scenes that you can quickly access by pressing the X button. You can break the videos into one, two or five minute intervals. In addition, you can now choose to have all of the videos under the video section of the XMB play in sequence. Go to Settings then Video Settings to turn this option on.
- PlayStation Store – We’ve added a redeem codes option right on the store to make it easier to redeem your PlayStation Network Cards and promotion codes. In addition, PlayStation Network Sign Up and Account Management have been redesigned.
- Power Save Settings – You can now set your PS3 and wireless controllers to turn off automatically after set periods of inactivity. Go to Settings then Power Save Settings to turn on these features.
- Background Downloading - You now have the option to set the PS3 to turn off automatically after a background download or installation of content has completed. This option is available when you turn off the system from the button under [Users] while content is being downloaded or installed.
- In-game Screenshots - this tool will allow everyone to capture, share and in other words, immortalize their favorite gameplay moments. This will be supported on a game by game basis. Please check back to find out which games will support this feature.
PSP Firmware 5.00 Update
As demonstrated at the Tokyo Game Show last week, the PSP firmware 5.00 update will add direct PlayStation Store access to the system, eliminating the need for PSP to be connected to a PC or PS3 to download content. PSP owners will be able to download games, demos, trailers, and other game-related content anytime and anywhere that their PSP system is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi. This functionality delivers on the portable promise of PSP, making the device even more compelling for gaming and entertainment on-the-go.
Additional enhancements delivered through PSP firmware 5.00 will include:
- On-screen keyboard -- A full-size, QWERTY on-screen keyboard will be added to make text entry during Web browsing easier and more convenient.
- Sleep timer -- During music playback, a sleep timer will enable users to shut off their PSP system after a specified amount of time.
- Video-out -- The PSP-2000's video-out feature will be able to display classic PlayStation® format titles at the full-screen size of the TV that the PSP is connected to; the feature also will support interlace displays.