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Hefty PSP & PS3 Firmware Changes Incoming

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If you wander over to the PlayStation.Blog, the latest post details some of the significant changes coming to the PSP (5.00) and PS3 (2.50). As always, I’ve broken it down for the lazy.

The list of changes for the PSP is fairly short, but it does mark the step towards a digital distributed future for the handheld. Let’s take a look at what version 5.00:

  • PlayStation Store will now be available directly from the PSP itself
  • The PC Store will be taken offline for a revamp, but I don’t know anyone who uses that.
  • Sleep timer option added for music mode
  • Full screen keyboard added
  • Redesigned backgrounds

The PS3’s changes are heftier, but most of these changes should have been there earlier. They’re mostly common sense changes which should have Xbox 360 owners scratching their heads and wondering “What’s the big deal?”

  • Support for the PS3 Official Bluetooth Headset.
    • Enables High-Quality (HQ) mode, which allows wide-band online voice chat.
    • Added on-screen indicator shows battery status, volume level and use of HQ mode
  • PlayStation Trophies interface enhancements
  • Friend status – Information below each friend will indicate the time since they were last online
  • Added the Scene Search feature to videos which allows you to skip through videos in chunks of time
  • Redeem codes option right on the PlayStation Store
    • PlayStation Network Sign Up and Account Management will be redesigned
  • Can now set your PS3 and wireless controllers to turn off automatically after set periods of inactivity.
  • New option to set the PS3 to turn off automatically after a background download or installation of content has completed.
  • In-game Screenshots – Enable screen capture of gameplay, but will be enabled on a game by game basis.
  • And more…

I wonder how the HQ mode will work since not everyone will be getting the PlayStation headset. I’ll be getting one with that SOCOM: Confrontation bundle. Not sure if I’ll be keeping SOCOM, though.

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