New PS3 and PSP Firmware Brings PS3 Screenshot Capture, PSP Online Store Later This Month

Sony has issued details for the PlayStation 3 v.2.50 firmware and PSP v5.00 firmware updates, both of which will arrive as free downloads later this month.

The v2.50 PlayStation 3 update will allow users to capture their own in-game screenshots through "supporting titles in the future," to be announced later.

It also adds support for the official PS3 Bluetooth Headset, a new video scene search, automatic shut-off of the console or controllers after a period of inactivity, the ability to display custom developer-made Trophy icons, and several other tweaks.

The PSP v5.00 firmware brings direct access to the online PlayStation Store, allowing PSP owners to download games, demos and more from any Wi-Fi hotspot. It will also bring a full-size QWERTY on-screen keyboard, a sleep timer for music playback, and the ability to output downloaded PlayStation games at full-screen on a television.

The official details, as provided by Sony, follow below.

PLAYSTATION 3 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.

Other new features delivered through PS3 firmware 2.50 will include:

  • Video -- A video scene search functionality will provide thumbnails to help you find a particular scene in a video more easily. 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.
  • Information Board -- The Information Board will be able to include direct links to PlayStation Store, making it easier for PS3 owners to download content that they read about on the Information Board.
  • Power save -- PS3 owners will have the option to automatically shut-off their console or controllers after pre-selected periods of inactivity.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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(R) format titles at the full-screen size of the TV that the PSP is connected to; the feature also will support interlace displays.

Chris Faylor was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 13, 2008 7:25 AM

    The auto-shutoff for the controllers has been a long time coming. And the screenshots thing is just awesome.

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