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Sony Updates PS3 and PSP

13 Oct, 2008 By: John Gaudiosi

The PlayStation 3 is getting another firmware upgrade.

Upgrade 2.5 includes a video scene search functionality that will provide thumbnails to help viewers find a particular scene in a video more easily. Also, the Information Board will be able to include direct links to the PlayStation Store, making it easier for PS3 owners to download content that they read about on the Information Board.

Taking a page from the user-generated content craze, the update adds 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.

The update also delivers exclusive options to support Sony’s official Bluetooth PS3 headset, 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. Sony ships the new headset as a bundle with the retail version of SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation.

In an effort to compete with Microsoft Xbox 360 and Xbox Live’s Achievement system, the 2.5 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.

On the PSP front, firmware update 5.0 adds direct access to the PlayStation Store, enabling consumers to browse the store and download games, trailers and other content whenever they’re at a Wi-Fi hotspot. This eliminates the need for PSP to be connected to a PC or PS3 to download content.

The download also adds a full-size, QWERTY on-screen keyboard to make text entry during Web browsing easier and more convenient.

In addition, 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.

“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, SVP of marketing and PlayStation Network, Sony Computer Entertainment America. “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 the PSP that effectively extends these entertainment capabilities beyond the home.”

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