PS3 Attitude

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PS3 Attitude

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

How To: PS3 FW 2.50 Brings DivX VOD

Firmware 2.50 is now out for your shiny big black box. Once downloaded, you can then view rented or bought DivX files on your PS3. You have to register the device using the code found in the System Settings submenu. Simply open DivX player on a PC, go to Tools > Device Manager and it will walk you through the steps needed to activate the PS3 playback device.

Once done, you get a downloadable file. Pop that onto a flash drive and play it from the Video section of your XMB and Robert's your mother's brother.

Easy as that!

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Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Firmware 2.50 to support Flash (aahhh!) 9

Not content with the enhancements regarding trophies, headsets and screen-grabbing (amongst others) coming in the upcoming 2.50 firmware update? Well, if you're like us and like to jump on to PS3 Attitude in between frag-fests and burning laps to check news and views you may also be happy to hear that there is yet another small, but significant, tweak coming as part of the impending update.

Our friends over at ThreeSpeech have reported that, from firmware version 2.50 (coming tomorrow), Flash 9 content will be supported in the Internet Browser.

As a lot of game videos (and other media on the web but, seriously, who looks at that?) can be found having a Flash variant this means the PS3 browser takes another step forward in supporting more online content. Now, if only someone could tell me how to get rid of that persistent "Would you like to install the plugin?" message I'll never leave the sitting room again.

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Monday, 13 October 2008

PS3 Firmware v2.50 Details

Details on what's to come in the next Firmware update for the PS3 have arrived via the Playstation.Blog. The only detail omitted was when this update would be available for download.

  • Support for the PS3 Official Bluetooth Headset: High Quality mode will be enabled and an on-screen indicator will show battery life, volume level, and use of HQ mode.

  • Playstation Trophies Interface Enhancements: Sharing and comparing trophies with friends becomes easier. Included is a symbol that represents your level as well as the percentage needed to reach the next one. The same is included when comparing trophies with friends.

  • Friend Status: See how long it has been since the last time they logged in.

  • Video: Adds Scene Search feature which lets you break up videos into 1, 2, or 5 minute scenes. You can also choose to have all videos in the section play in sequence.

  • Playstation Store: You can now redeem PSN Cards and promotional code directly in the store rather than having to go to Account Management. That section has also been redesigned as well.

  • Power Save Settings: Ability to set your PS3 and wireless controllers to turn off automatically after a set period of inactivity.

  • Background Downloading: You can now have your PS3 turn off automatically after a background download or installation has completed.

  • In-game Screenshots: Capture and share your favorite gameplay moments. Ability is supported on a game by game basis.

In addition, there are also to be some additional unnamed features and enhancements included. I must say, this is looking to be quite a meaty update. I'm most excited about the trophy enhancements, simply because I cannot get enough of them. How about you?

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Wednesday, 17 September 2008

FW 2.43 available in Japan; does nothing, apparently

Sony have launched yet another firmware update. There are however two reasons why version 2.43 is different to other recent upgrades:

1. It's region specific; designed for Japanese PS3s only
2. It seems to do absolutely nothing

Of course we know that point 2 isn't really true. There will be some bizarre issue that only affects Japanese hardware which is fixed with this release. Outside of the Land of the Rising Sun, there's no reason to install this if you happen to find it on the 'net.

The good news is that if you do bring your US or PAL hardware up to speed it won't harm it in any way. Or improve it. So if I were you I wouldn't bother at all.

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Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Firmware 2.42 is live; ready for Life with PlayStation?

Firmware 2.4 has gone live on the PS3.

According to Eric Lempel at SCEA, this update "improves the playback quality of some PLAYSTATION 3 and PlayStation format software".

Given the PS3 community were told that Life with PlayStation was due to launch before the end of the month, we wonder if there is code in this update that might be made 'live' on Thursday with a corresponding PS Store download...

I guess we'll find out if LwP is going to arrive on time in less than 48 hours.

[UPDATE] There is at least anecdotal evidence suggesting Trophy and gamer profile load times are faster. Let us know if you experience this, or any other improvements, in the comments...

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Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Firmware 2.41 available now

The rumours were true.

Firmware v2.41 is now available for download, so for those of you who didn't manage to get 2.40 before it was removed from circulation, here's your first chance to try out the new in-game XMB and Trophy systems.

We're happy to report that the download speed is good at present too, although once word gets out that may change!

"As many of you know, we released PS3 firmware update v2.40 last week, but had to take it offline temporarily because, for a limited number of users, the XMB wouldn't display after the update was installed.

We want to extend our apologies to the PlayStation community for any inconvenience. Now we'll be looking forward to seeing everyone online and racking up those trophies!" - Eric Lempel, SCEA

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Monday, 7 July 2008

Firmware 2.41 will arrive tomorrow?

Since releasing - then retracting - firmware 2.40, Sony have been quiet on exactly when the reported bugs would be fixed.

Whilst the problem was never as widespread as some would have us believe (recently confirmed in a PS3 Fanboy poll), it certainly was bad enough for the affected few that Sony had to pull the plug on the much-anticipated release.

Rumours starting floating around this morning that the replacement, Firmware 2.41, would arrive tomorrow. We are awaiting confirmation of this, so watch this space.

This is, of course, great news for those of us (me included) that weren't in front of their PS3s when 2.40 hit, and so haven't been able to form that all-important trophy collection habit.

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Thursday, 3 July 2008

2.4 firmware removed, for now

Sony have taken the 2.4 update off their servers for now.

Due to the high demand for the update, many people had issues downloading the firmware when it launched yesterday.

Following the deluge of activity, a few users who did manage to update their PS3s had other issues.

Some complained the PS3 was freezing. Others have had issues within certain game titles.

Sony have told us that these problems are only being experienced by a few, but that in the meantime they have pulled the firmware from circulation whilst things are fixed.

We don't think it will be long before 2.4 is back and available again - just in time for everyone to break the download servers a second time!

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Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Firmware 2.40 hidden features summary

So, firmware 2.40 is with us already. In addition to the much publicised in-game XMB and Trophy features, what else is included in the package? The following lists some of the official, and unmentioned, updates in 2.40.

  • 2.40 comes with a new version of the PS Store that caches and loads thumbnails quicker, meaning you don't have to hang around for so long waiting for the latest updates to appear.
  • Just like the recent PSP update, you can now search Google directly from the XMB.
  • You can now have a clock on screen (finally) showing the date and time.
  • You can now turn the PS3 off from the XMB, instead of having to press the PS button.
  • As well as the new mini-controller for music, the PS3 can now play files encoded in MP3 Surround format.
  • Video playback from the hard drive is improved with Frame and Block noise reduction options. In addition, you can now upscale content from the hard drive, and Blu-ray upscaling has been added.
  • You can change the way photos are sorted when grouped by 'time'.
So - a lot to enjoy. If you find another feature, let us know in the comments.

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Firmware 2.40 now available

In case you hadn't already heard from the droves of websites writing exactly this news, Firmware 2.40 is now available for download.

With support for in-game XMB, the new Trophy system and a whole host of other, more subtle changes, this is probably the biggest firmware update ever.

We can now all get ready for the inevitable 'here's what is also in 2.40 but Sony didn't document' news!

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Monday, 30 June 2008

Firmware 2.4 this Wednesday, 2nd July

Official confirmation has arrived; Firmware 2.4 will hit your PS3 this Wednesday - 2nd July.

The new firmware brings those items we've all been asking for, such as In-game XMB and Custom soundtracks.

What I'm most excited about though is the new Trophy system. SCEE have confirmed the following titles will be amongst the first to support the new Trophies:

  • Super Stardust HD
  • BUZZ! Quiz TV
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • MotorStorm Pacific Rift
  • NBA 09 - PS3
  • PAIN
  • PixelJunk Eden
  • Resistance 2
  • SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation
  • Warhawk

Super Stardust HD, PAIN and Warhawk will gain Trophy support via a game update. SSHD will be the first title to provide Trophy support, so we assume that the updates for PAIN and Warhawk will follow shortly after the firmware update, whereas the SSHD update may be available on the 2nd.

So, to get you warmed up for Trophy support, here's the second part of Eric Lempel's 2.4 walkthrough.

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First official 2.4 video released

Eric Lempel has been busy again, this time delivering the first official Firmware 2.4 video for our viewing pleasure.

Another video is due to arrive soon that will explain more about the new Trophy system, but for now, feast your eyes on what 2.4 has to offer...

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Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Firmware 2.36 live; 2.4 on the way

Widely know as 'the firmware release before the important one', version 2.36 only adds some strengthened stability when playing some PlayStation format titles.

So, nothing to write home about yet.

But now that Sony themselves have confirmed that 2.40 does include in-game XMB, as well as a host of other desirable features such as the new Trophy system, this small stepping stone does at least give us a glimmer of hope that the more important firmware upgrade is going to be with us soon.

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Friday, 30 May 2008

Firmware 2.4; news blow-out

There's too much news about Firmware 2.4 to ignore it, even if it is all still rumour, so here's three key links to help you understand what could be coming along in the 'near' future:

thesixthaxis - The FW 2.4 Guide
Rumour: PS3 Firmware 2.4 to include in-game XMB and Trophy support
More FW 2.4 Rumors: Konami Pushing Sony for Trophy Support?

Whatever happens when 2.4 does come along, if it doesn't include in-game XMB at the very least, there is going to be hell to pay. Here's hoping these rumours are true...

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Thursday, 15 May 2008

Firmware 2.35 goes live; no new features

Firmware 2.35 has gone live on the PS3.

Supposedly, this fix is not due to the GTA: IV freezing issues, but when the only update information we can find is "improves the stability of some PS3 titles", you have to assume this is in response to those problems.

According to most people, the GTA issues are limited to 60Gb consoles that ave the hardware PS2 compatiblity, which explains why there are no widespread reports of problems in Europe, since have a 60Gb version that uses software backwards compatibility instead.

We've searched high and low, but if you find a new feature hidden away, drop it in the comments.

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Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Firmware 2.30 arrives, along with a PS Store update

Sony sure do know how to make us happy right now.

Not only does firmware 2.30 hit the network before most people have woken up, but the nice new PlayStation Store has a few updates included in it as well.

The first thing you notice is just how fast the new store loads in comparison to the old one. And the zoom 'n' fade between windows is much better in real life than it showed up on the walkthrough video.

In terms of new content, there is an awesome update for Super Stardust HD that adds four new game modes and a retro soundtrack, amongst other things.

We have some new Guitar Hero III content from the band Dropkick Murphys and then there's the Sega Superstars Demo we were expecting to hit on Thursday.

Finally, we get a Bionic Commando Rearmed trailer and a second Lost Planet trailer.

This is good, but it's going to get better this week with the arrival of Metal Gear Online and the next Warhawk expansion - Operation Broken Mirror.

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Thursday, 10 April 2008

Additional Firmware 2.30 details

In addition to carrying the new PS Store with it, firmware 2.30 will also feature DTS-HD Master audio support.

Thankfully, the guys and gals at the Official PlayStation Blog explained what the heck that means:

"DTS-HD Master Audio is literally bit-for-bit identical to the studio master recording and makes movie soundtracks and sound effects truly come to life. The technology delivers audio at the incredibly high rate of 24.5 mega-bits per second (Mbps) on Blu-ray disc, which is significantly higher than standard DVDs. DTS-HD Master Audio also offers 7.1 audio channels at 96k sampling frequency/24 bit depths, so you’ll be totally immersed in the sound. The firmware update will add DTS-HD High Resolution Audio as well, which is a similar output technology that requires less disc space."
I'm glad we cleared that one up! PS3 Attitude are sure audiophiles everywhere are salivating right now.

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Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Firmware 2.20 described by Eric Lempel

SCEA have put out a video that has Eric Lempel describing many of the new features in version 2.20 of the PS3 firmware.

Take a look below to get a good overview of the new features.

From Crackle: Firmware 2.20 demo

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Firmware 2.20 is available

We already covered what was going to be in firmware 2.20 in detail, so this is one of the shortest news stories we've ever written.

It's live. Go download it.

We'll check out the changes and we'll update you as to how well they work soon. The first BD-LIVE titles aren't available yet, so it will be April before we can let you know how good BD Profile 2.0 is.

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Thursday, 20 March 2008

Firmware 2.20 brings BD-Live; PSP playlist and remote audio output features

Planned for release in late March, Sony have just announced firmware 2.20 for the PS3.

2.20 will add Blu-ray Profile 2.0, which is also known as BD-LIVE. BD_LIVE brings the opportunity to take full advantage of interactive features, such as downloadable video content, ringtones, games and more.

In addition to BD-LIVE support, the update will enable photo and music playlists on a PS3 to be copied to a PSP as well as other new features, such as a new audio remote control feature for the PSP. This will allow the PSP to switch the audio output to the PS3 under Remote Play, giving it the ability to act as a remote control for your listening pleasure.

As well as BD-LIVE and PSP playlist features, here's a full list of the other updates 2.20 brings:

  • “Resume play” will enable PS3 to start playing a BD and DVD video at the point it was stopped, even if the disc had been removed.
  • “Audio Output Device” will be a new Remote Play setting, enabling PSP to serve as a remote control for music played through PS3.
  • PS3’s Internet browser will be enhanced: Video files directly linked from a Web page will be able to be streamed, and the browser’s view speed will be improved.
  • DivX and WMV format videos that are larger than 2GB will be playable.
  • “Mosquito Noise Reduction” will be added as an AV setting in the control panel of the DVD/BD player for improved movie playback.

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Thursday, 13 March 2008

Firmware 2.17 goes live

Since this is not a big update, this won't be a big news story.

Simply put, Sony have upped the firmware to version 2.17 to fix some bugs. Or in Sony speak "the operating stability of some titles".

That's all it is people. Now go play something.

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Monday, 3 March 2008

In-game XMB confirmed and Home rumoured for Summer; the secret of firmware 2.4

In a recent interview with MCV, Ray Maquire of SCE UK was congratulating UK retailers on helping them sell 1m PS3 units faster than the PS2 did.

During the short interview however, he said:

“Our momentum will continue with the introduction of in-game communication in the summer, firmware update 2.4 and the strongest line-up of games through our third party partners and our own studios. I’d personally like to thank our trade and business partners for helping us on the start of the PS3 journey.”
So the question is, why would Mr. Maguire make a special point of firmware v2.4? Surely this update will be an important one. He already said in-game XMB will come along, maybe to co-incide with the Summer release of Metal Gear Solid 4.

So will firmware 2.4 include a new, sparkly Home icon? It must be something important, or he wouldn't have mentioned it as a separate possible milestone in the yet-to-be-told story of the PS3 throughout 2008.

What do you think is included in firmware v2.4?

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Wednesday, 19 December 2007

We're back; PS3 news summary

Sorry for the lack of news over the past few days. Due to various issues we've been unable to update the site.

Which is a real pain considering everything that has happened to the PS3 in the meantime!

In case you've been hiding under a rock, here's a quick summary (click the links for more detail):

PS3 firmware v2.10 - now available and includes DivX support, Blu-Ray Profile 1.1, Type 3 music bitmapping, a voice changer for your in-game speech and a couple of undocumented features; a new 'earth' visualisation for your music, the ability to play all PS1 titles via Remote Play and various bug fixes (such as movie icons now animate when in folders).

Folding@Home update v1.3 - now available and includes auto-shutdown options and the ability to play music whilst you cure cancer!

Warhawk Omega Dawn - available a day earlier than expected (and for a while, was free of charge until they 'fixed' that particular issue), so go get it! Also, v1.2 patch available. Our advice is to launch Warhawk and get v1.2 first, then get Omega Dawn.

Speaking of Warhawk, check out this great video on YouTube of a jeep race set up and run in our favourite online game. We've added it to the PS3 Attitude YouTube Channel as a 'favourite', so just scroll down and click on "Warhawk: the first road race Test". Don't forget to subscribe to the channel whilst you're there!

Oh, and ThreeSpeech added us to their link list. Thanks guys!

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Tuesday, 20 November 2007

[UPDATE] Firmware 2.01 is up; Assassin's Creed seems stable

Firmware 2.01 has arrived as expected and is a bugfix release.

However it appears that as well as the network issues 2.00 created, this fix also improves the stability of some games. After a serious gaming session with Assassin's Creed combined with reports from friends and colleagues, it appears nobody is experiencing the 'white screen of death' at all now.

Whether this is a global fix is yet to be seen but I can report that in the UK at least, we are no longer seeing problems with AC and other titles. Good news!

[UPDATE] After more testing and a couple of additional reports, I'm afraid to say Assassin's Creed still freezes under 2.01. There is a quick fix though - it hasn't yet frozen whilst signed in to the PSN. So before you play AC sign out and all should be well. I expect a further update by either Sony or Ubisoft will fix the issue for good in the future.

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Thursday, 8 November 2007

[UPDATE] A selection of PS3 Themes for your enjoyment

So, you've got firmware 2.00 now - right?

And you've played around with the XMB customisation, yeah?

So by now you're already sick of just flipping between the original and Air Paint themes, aren't you?

PS3 Attitude comes to the rescue with these three official themes from the land of the rising sun. You can download them and put them on a USB stick, Memory Stick or other external media in a folder called PS3-->THEME and then Install them from the Themes menu.

Or you can browse PS3 Attitude on your PS3 and click on the theme of your choice below. This route is simpler as it will Install the new PS3 themes for you.

Just click the preview picture of the theme you'd like and off you go!

More themes will follow soon...

If you're more adventurous and want to create your own theme, PlayStation Australia now have the Theme Compiler with English instructions.

[UPDATE] Some people are experiencing an issue when trying to download these via the PS3 browser. If you have a problem, hope over to the Japanese PlayStation website and try there instead whilst I fix things here...



Classy Pink

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Wednesday, 7 November 2007

PS3 Fanboy score exclusive first screens of FW 2.00

Head on over to our friends at PS3 Fanboy, where they managed to score the exclusive first screens of the new PS3 2.00 firmware.

First impressions? Nice. Everything looks so crisp and fresh, like unwrapping the PS3 for the very first time.

Can't wait to get back to my black monolith and start the download, which apparently will arrive tomorrow along with some nice PS Store content.

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PS3 firmware 2.00 details from SCEE

Just received the official word from SCEE; PS3 firmware 2.00 is upon us.

I can't verify whether it has actually arrived on the PSN as yet (can you?), but the press release says that it is out now.

New features include:

  • Support for PSP remote start - switch the PS3 on with your PSP and go into a Remote Play session
  • Build playlists in the music and photo sections of the XMB
  • Customisation of the XMB - change colour and brightness of the icons (useful for when you have a bright wallpaper) and apply custom icon themes, very much like the PSP custom theme capability
  • Information Board - a new addition to the XMB providing you with the latest PlayStation news (well, it would do if it showed you the PS3 Attitude feed of course!)
  • New PlayStation Network category on the XMB, with the much discussed new logo taking centre stage
  • Trend Micro Web Security - a free security application for your PS3 web browser, providing parental controls amongst other things (free until end of April 2008, when pay options will be made available to keep it up to date)
All in all, a pretty good update. Of course, many will start shouting "what - 2.00 without custom soundtracks and no in-game XMB?", but the fact is that we're sure these things will be coming in a future update.

SCEA, for example, recently asked the following question in a survey of their Gamer Advisory Panel members:

Choose which XMB feature would be most important to you in a possible
PLAYSTATION Network update:

A) In-game access to PSN messaging
B) Ability to play my own music from the XMB while in-game
C) Larger buddy list and buddy-list features such as categorizing

This is a clear indication of what they're thinking of adding to 2.x.

Some games, of course, already support access to the XMB and PSN messaging (Resistance, for example) so surely this is just a case of the developers making use of the feature set that ships with the current development kit?

Whatever way I look at this, it's still positive news. The XMB customisation is welcome (and reasonably fun on the PSP) but the ability to switch on the PS3 remotely is a must, especially with PlayTV coming early 2008. And how on earth did we get along without music playlists?!

Thanks Sony!

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Thursday, 1 November 2007

Best PS3 FW 2.0 predictions thus far

With PS3 firmware 2.0 clearly on the way, it's fun to have a look at the Internet melting down with predictions and 'insider knowledge' on what's happening.

Of course, if all 'insider knowledge' was true, the update would have hit on the 30th as was widely reported!

However, our good friends at The Sixth Axis have really done their homework. I don't know who their source is, but I would say these are the most likely features in FW 2.0 so far.

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Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Resistance gets a patch today

All this talk about upgrades and patches.

We've got Firmware 2.00 on the 'incoming' list after the PSP 3.72 update.

There's Warhawk 1.1 any time now and 1.2 coming in December.

Motorstorm 3.0 hit recently.

And now, by this evening/tomorrow morning, we'll have the latest Resistance update.

And some people say games aren't value for money! Even UK launch titles like Resistance and Motorstorm are still getting TLC from their developers.

The latest Resistance update brings:

  • Ability to take screenshots in game using a USB keyboard
  • Weapon balance changes and new round balancing options
  • DualShock 3 support for online and single player games
  • Password protection for custom games
  • Bug fixes galore

Time to go dust off the Resistance disk and rediscover the joy of the PS3's first FPS. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, 30 October 2007

PS3 firmware 2.00; indications of impending inevitability

I've largely given up on reporting rumours here at PS3 Attitude, since they hardly ever come true. We're just trying to bring the news, people.

So when I saw the perennial "2.0 is coming" rumour at Kotaku I was sceptical. To be fair to Kotaku, they were taking it with a pinch of salt too. The rumour was that 2.0 was coming on 30th October, which even the most inebriated reader will recognise as 'today'.

But then a funny thing happened. I switched on my PSP and checked the available updates to find a new firmware. Version 3.72 of the PSP firmware adds the PSP Remote Start feature we reported earlier this year (according to the official PlayStation website - the PSP Update only mentions additional support for PS titles).

The catch?

Remote Start requires PS3 Firmware 2.0, according to the website notes.

When we last had a joint PSP/PS3 firmware update, they were only one to two days apart across all territories. Which leads me to believe we're going to get 2.0 by the end of the week.

Now for the inevitable rumours about what 2.0 includes... PlayStation Home anyone? Nah - can't be...

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Thursday, 25 October 2007

[UPDATE] PS3 Firmware 1.94 and Warhawk 1.1; but only for the few

Subscribers to the PS3 Attitude RSS feed will have already seen the details of Warhawk patches 1.1 and 1.2, as we included them in our Digg profile. Remember, if you subscribe to the RSS feed, you get exclusive Digg news in with your PS3 Attitude stories.

It turns out the Warhawk 1.1 patch actually came out earlier than expected. Some US Blu-Ray version players were able to download the patch and apply it. This has since been fixed so we don't expect anyone else will be able to get the patch until October 30th.

Anyone who did get the 1.1 patch really needs to go into the Game Data folder and delete it, otherwise you won't be able to play in the 1.0 world.

In addition PS3 Firmware 1.94 has also hit the network. At the moment though it appears that only people who have Ratchet & Clank can get the update, but we're waiting for confirmation of that.

[UPDATE] It appears the 1.94 firmware is actually included on the Ratchet & Clank disk. This is apparently how they will be providing 'rumble out of the box' in games like Ratchet and Uncharted. As some US PS3 owners managed to get Ratchet a week earlier than expected, this is why the 1.94 release is trickling out and is not on the PSN.

So we have two updates that appear to be for the few rather than the masses - one by mistake and one by design.

Here's a quick list of changes in both updates.

Firmware 1.94

  • Rumble support added (this has been apparently been tested with an old PS2 controller by someone at the N4G forums)
  • Fix for Ratchet & Clank (the US version shipped with a bug that had a work-around where you needed to add or delete around 500Mb of data for it to load - 1.94 appears to fix that, but we're waiting on confirmation) - [UPDATE] Looks like this bug isn't fixed in 1.94 and that it just adds rumble support for Ratchet & Clank.

Warhawk 1.1

Server-side updates

  • Stat database stability improvements
  • Improved server stability
  • Max Clan limit changed from 32 to 64
  • Viral Rank-up bug fixed and correct for players that were accidentally ranked up.
  • “Time-in-Vehicle” Stats fixed so certain awards can now be granted properly.

Client-side updates

  • Stat connection, fetch/post fixes
  • Significantly improved client connection stability
  • Quad “????” Ping display bug fixed.
  • Added support for Player-Ranked Servers.
  • Game synchronization fixes due to fluctuating network conditions (packet-drop).
  • Crash fixes for end of game and split screen.

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Thursday, 13 September 2007

Where is PS3 Home at right now?

In our PS3 news roundup today, we pointed out that the UK Sony site still has Home down as being available by September. And this, it has to be said, is unlikely to say the least! I mean, most of the Sony sites are out of date as far as content is concerned. Look how long it takes them to update the firmware pages, for example!

So where exactly is Home at right now? And before you say it, no it's not 'wherever I lay my hat'...

As recently as yesterday, Home beta testers received a new build of the hotly anticipated 'second life-like' environment to play with. This means it is unlikely we'll see Home in October either, since any feedback from the current round of testing would need to be dealt with, and development just doesn't happen that quickly!

In the new build there are some nice new features. The 'Home Square' that was shown at E3 is available for the first time.

Also, areas are now broken down into separate downloads. If you want to go to the 'game area', you download it and you'll be bowling and shooting hoops with the best of them. This means Home will have a smaller 'core' download and then you can just add on the pieces that make sense to you. Downloads will be, on average, around 20-40Mb per area.

Also in the new build the 'virtual PSP' has a 'phone friend' feature. I don't think this has got anything to do with a 'virtual Who Wants to be a Millionaire' gameshow though!

Home Safe has also been added. Home Safe lets you change certain privacy and interaction settings to make sure your Home experience is a safe one. It lets you change your communication settings, block users and access your PS3 Friends list.

So what else do we know about the state of Home right now?

The next stage of the Home beta will be invite-only. The current beta is for employees and selected third-parties only right now. Although the beta will expand to a wider group of people, it is likely these will be companies and individuals who are 'linked' to SCEE in some way.

By the way Sony, if you're reading this I'm a seasoned software tester and I never break an NDA... just saying...

So, I'm expecting a further round of beta testing plus a further round of 'showstopper' fixes before Home comes along. As the areas have been split off into individual downloads, it's clear that Sony will get the core download fixed and ready to launch and then work on adding additional features, areas and fixes in future downloads as people find bugs, suggest new additions or as new content arrives.

Finally, we now know that Home will just 'happen'. No fanfare. No 'big bang'. You'll just get it as part of a standard firmware upgrade.

So my money is on firmware v2.00 to hit in November, which will include Home, to ensure it is out for the big PS3 Christmas push. I'll go see what odds William Hill will give me on that.

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PS3 firmware v1.93 out now; PSP gets closer to it's big brother

Doing nothing more than fixing the issues I and many others experienced by installing v1.92, the latest firmware arrives with at least a little more information then before.

The details of the new upgrade appear in a blog entry at the Official PlayStation Blog along with news of the latest PSP firmware upgrade.

I upgraded my PSP the other day and was pleased to see some new features, including the ability to change 'icon sets' using the new Themes dialog.

In the blog entry it mentions that these themes will be downloadable later from the PS Store, which is a nice way to point out to people who have a PS3 and don't have it's little brother that they're missing out on something. Anything that brings the PSP and PS3 closer to each other is welcome.

Now, what's the betting that the fabled v2.0 PS3 firmware includes icon sets too so you can match up your XMB look and feel across both devices?

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Tuesday, 4 September 2007

PS3 firmware v1.92 arrives; what's new?

If only we knew!

Seriously though, with the lack of a 'change log' or release notes for every update, it is hard sometimes to see what has changed.

Some users are reporting faster XMB load times.
Someone said that this release adds in support for 'flash wallpapers'.
GAP members are saying this release fixes freezes in Warhawk games.
Others are saying the web browser has been improved.
And I've seen at least one reference to fixes for those pesky PS1 titles that have been an issue, plus a fix for Lair controls (which affects the US right now, since Lair isn't in Europe yet).

All in all, a bug fix release with the ability to have flash wallpapers as well.

The only thing I do know for sure is that after I upgraded, most of the websites I tried to visit came up with a Network Error, but that could just mean I need to restart the PS3 or my router to fix it - I'll do more testing later.

What have you found so far?

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Saturday, 11 August 2007

RUMOUR: PS3 firmware 2.0 does not include in-game XMB

We've done just about as terrible a job at predicting what's coming in the next firmware as everyone else, so when I saw this list of supposed features coming in v2.0 at The Video Gaming Report, I took it with more than the grain of salt the author suggests. Think more of an entire barrel of salt.

However, the rumour does seem to be written with more detail than many previous attempts, so maybe it has a little more truth to it.

As well as confirming that there will be no in-game XMB yet, the source of the news reveals that 2.0 will include an updated browser (update the flash player and other features), security for items on your HDD and the possible inclusion of the Playstation Home icon on the XMB.

I guess only time will tell if these tidbits are any more real than the dozens of other firmware tips we've been getting that never come true.

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Wednesday, 25 July 2007

In-game XMB will come to the PS3 - Sony listening to us

Some people are reporting that the long-awaited in-game XMB access will be coming along in the next update. Mind you, some people are still reporting that it came along in this one!

I'm less optimistic, since I've seen what it takes at the sharp end to actually develop and test this stuff.

But the important news is that Sony are listening and they are developing the features we want to see. On the official PlayStation blog the following statement has been added to the recent firmware announcement:

Also, I noticed a lot of your comments were directly related to accessing XMB features in-game. We understand this is something you want and we are working on it. For the sake of keeping all the comments below on topic, please understand that we hear this request and are working toward a solution. When I have some more info to share on this, know that I will do so here on this blog.

Excellent news and very welcome too. Thanks Sony!

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Monday, 23 July 2007

You want XMB Backgrounds - we've got backgrounds!!

If you're wondering what you ought to plaster all over your XMB tomorrow, head on over to this post at the US PlayStation forums where you'll find they've been good enough to start a thread that has dozens, nay hundreds, of suitable candidates.


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PS3 1.90 firmware in Japan today; hits Europe tomorrow

The hotly anticipated 1.90 firmware upgrade has already seen the light of day in Japan, and is due to form a lasting friendship with European machines tomorrow.

So what actually is in the update, and how close were we with our predictions?

  • Ability to rearrange games on the XMB
  • Option menu now includes "eject disc"
  • Press triangle on the XMB to eject the disc
  • XMB backgrounds
  • Change the folder classification
  • Emoticons
  • Change CD output to 44.1/88.2/176.4kHz
  • Force 24Hz output for Blu-ray over HDMI
  • Change PS3 video settings in-game
  • "Bit Mapping" in the "Music Setting"
  • Save AVCHD type animations from a Memory Stick
  • Change settings like upscaling while playing PS and PS2 games
  • Add bookmarks
  • Web browser security function in the browser's tool section
  • Avatar moves during audio visual chat

Other than the 'Theme Settings', or as it is put here 'XMB Backgrounds', pretty much everything else we and the rest of the 'net predicted was off the mark. Nice!

I'll stick to playing the National Lottery - I've got a better chance of getting it right...

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Saturday, 21 July 2007

PS3 firmware upgrade confirmed for next week

It's that time again!

Patrick Seybold, Sony's Senior PR Manager, has said that a new firmware release will hit the PS3 next week.

Although the list of updates has not been confirmed, most people expect all or some of these to be included:

  • You can now password-protect user accounts.


  • [Dynamic Normalizer] has been added as an option under [Sound Settings].
  • [Energy Saver] has been added as an option.
  • [Equalizer] has been added as a feature under [Music Settings].
  • [Full] has been added as an option for [DVD Wide Display] under [BD / DVD Settings].
  • [Photo Settings] has been added as an option.
  • [PS / PS2 Settings] has been added as an option.
  • [RSS Channel Settings] has been added as an option.
  • [Sample Rate] has been added to [Audio CD Import] under [Music Settings].
  • [Screen Saver] has been expanded under [Display Settings].
  • The method of selecting an output resolution has been changed in [Video Output Settings] under [Display Settings].
  • [Theme Settings] has been added as an option.
  • [Zero Unused Disk Space] has been added as an option under [System Settings] > [Format Utility].
In addition, some people are reporting that the new firmware will include an option for Customised Soundtracks and others are reporting new features such as multiple chat windows, the XMB being available during gameplay, new slideshow visualisations and a decent CD Information update system that sends new CD details to the database.

Whatever happens, we'll get to see what is true and what is fake in the update on around 23rd July.

UPDATE: Patrick Seybold has said the Customised Soundtracks feature is fake. See his reply (reply number 69; ahem!) on the official Playstation blog.

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