PS3 Firmware Update 2.00 Details Revealed

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Tomorrow is shaping up to be a huge day for PS3 owners. In addition to the Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune demo (and whatever other goodies come with the Thursday PlayStation Store update), Sony is also set to release PS3 firmware update 2.00, which will introduce a number of nifty new features, including an Information Board icon in the XMB Network category that’ll keep you updated with all the latest PlayStation news via scrolling headlines, a Remote Start function that’ll enable you to turn your PS3 on and off remotely using the PSP, new XMB themes and enhanced organization options for your photo and music collection, among other tweaks and additions.

PlayStation Network Operations Director Eric Lempel has posted a complete rundown of firmware update 2.00 over at the PlayStation.Blog, so click over to read up on all the details. Reading through the mass of comments, there seems to be quite a Sony-bashing uproar over the update’s lacking inclusion of in-game XMB support. Not sure what the big deal is. It’s a free update that adds more functionality to the PS3, how is that a bad thing? Sure, in-game XMB would be nice (and I’m sure it will come at some point, my guess would be in time for the Home launch), but to rip Sony for not adding it this time around is just ridiculous. 2.00 is going to be an excellent update, so be patient, stop bitching and just enjoy the cool features it does add. (Edit: Since originally posting, the official press release on firmware 2.00 has arrived from SCEA. Hit the jump to check it out).

NEW PLAYSTATION®3 FIRMWARE UPDATE ADDS PS3™ REMOTE START VIA PSP® AND NEW INFORMATION BOARD THAT DELIVERS PLAYSTATION NEWS UPDATES DIRECTLY TO THE XMB™ SCREEN

Other New Upgrades Include the Ability to Use Customized XMB Themes, Build Photo and Music Playlists, and the Creation of New PLAYSTATION®Network Category Icon

FOSTER CITY, Calif., November 7, 2007 – Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today announced that the next system software update for PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™) computer entertainment system, firmware version 2.00, will be available on Thursday, Nov. 8, and will add several features that enhance the user experience. Firmware 2.00 will deliver exciting new features such as Remote Start, which upgrades the Remote Play feature by enabling users to turn on a PS3 system remotely with their PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system from an Internet hotspot, and a new Information Board, where users will find the latest PlayStation® news and updates in a scrolling window on the XMB™ (XrossMediaBar) menu screen. Other new features include the addition of custom themes that personalize the XMB interface, the ability to build music and photo playlists, and the creation of a PLAYSTATION®Network category on XMB.

“PLAYSTATION 3 is constantly evolving and this latest firmware is a great example of how we can make existing features such as Remote Play even more user-friendly. We’re also delivering entirely new offerings that increase our touchpoints with consumers through the new Information Board,” said Eric Lempel, director, PLAYSTATION Network Operations, SCEA. “These types of updates show the value of PS3 goes beyond your initial purchase, and we’re continuing to evaluate new technology upgrades and consumer interests to develop future firmware updates throughout PS3’s lifecycle.”

Remote Start
Since May 2007, the Remote Play feature has enabled users to stream photos, videos, and music stored on their PS3 hard drive or PC onto a PSP system, whenever their PSP system is connected to a wireless Internet access point (or hotspot). Consumers have also been able to use PS3 system as a gateway to remotely access media files stored on their PC with their PSP system, all through PS3’s Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) capability. Now users no longer have to leave their PS3 system on when they leave home, as the new firmware update adds Remote Start, allowing a PSP system to remotely turn on a PS3 system from a hotspot. Once they’re done using Remote Play, users can also turn off their PS3 with their PSP. This delivers greater flexibility to the Remote Play feature and makes accessing media files on-the-go easier than ever.

Information Board
A new Information Board enables SCEA to communicate directly with PS3 users, delivering information to XMB on a regular basis about new content added to PLAYSTATION®Store, software releases, hardware news, firmware details and other updates. The Information Board consists of a window on the upper right corner above the XMB that scrolls through the headlines of each item. Users can read the entire “story” or update by clicking on the Information Board icon under the Network category. Some Information Board updates will include a Web site link for more information, which the user can click on to view using PS3 system’s browser. Moving forward, the Information Board will be a valuable communications tool that allows SCEA to push real-time news and updates to PS3 owners. Users can turn the scrolling window on or off by clicking on the Information Board icon under the Network category and changing the setting.

Other Feature Upgrades
• Custom themes – Users can now personalize their XMB by choosing custom themes, which change wallpapers and icons at one time. A variety of themes will be available for download from PLAYSTATION Store and www.playstation.com, including themes related to specific titles or franchises. Users can also create their own themes and share them with their friends. Instructions on how to build personalized themes will be posted soon on www.playstation.com.
• Music and photo playlists – Users can now create playlists for photos and music stored on their PS3 system. This new feature makes it simple to create personalized soundtracks of favorite songs or share slideshows of favorite photos, all grouped according to the user’s preference.
• PLAYSTATION Network category – A PLAYSTATION Network category icon has been added to XMB, where users will now access PLAYSTATION Store and Account Management settings. PLAYSTATION Network continues to evolve and this dedicated category reflects SCEA’s focus on current PLAYSTATION Network offerings, primarily PLAYSTATION Store, and several new initiatives planned for the future. The current Network category icon will continue to include the Remote Play feature, Internet browser, Folding@home™, and online instruction manuals.

To install the latest system software on your PS3 system, you can select the System Update feature when your system is connected to the Internet; use a PC to download the update data and transfer it to the PS3 system through storage media or a USB mass storage device; or install it using update data included on an upcoming game disc. Further details are available at www.playstation.com.

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