The official Playstation blog has dropped details of the upcoming PS3 2.50 firmware update, which finally includes an auto shut-down power saving feature for connected wireless controllers and the console itself. The update will also include a high-quality mode for the official Bluetooth headset, scene search stills during video playback, and a number of other enhancements. No release date, but PSP firmware 5.0 (the PSN store update) which is also detailed in the announcement is expected to drop October 15, and the headset is due for an October 14 release, so sometime this week is a safe guess. Full details post-jump. [Official Playstation Blog]
PSP (v5.00) update
Let's start with the v5.00 update for PSP. In this version, you'll notice the addition of the PlayStation Network icon on the XMB. You can now sign up for PlayStation Network, manage your account and access PlayStation Store directly from your PSP - meaning you can download games directly to your PSP while connected via Wi-Fi. Getting games, demos and trailers while on-the-go has never been easier! Check out the screen below.
The current PlayStation Store on the PC will be down in the interim as we take some time to revamp. Don't worry, it will re-launch soon after we've made some tweaks. Please keep in mind, if you already have a PlayStation Network account, simply sign in on your PSP using your existing information. The same account and wallet can be used on PS3 and PSP. You will be able to check out the PlayStation Store on the PSP soon, as we'll have a video demo featuring Grace Chen posted soon on the Blog.
Update v5.00 adds a sleep timer option that can be used while you are playing music on your PSP. In addition, we've added a full screen keyboard option for text entry and have redesigned the background of the XMB. You'll be able to find all of the information on Firmware v5.00 here once it goes live.
PS3 (v2.50) update
Now on to the PS3 v2.50 update. The latest features/enhancements include:
* Support for the PS3 Official Bluetooth Headset - we've told you about the upcoming Bluetooth Headset and SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation Bundle on the Blog. This latest firmware installment enables High-Quality (HQ) mode, which delivers clear and wide-band online voice chat. On top of that, an added on-screen indicator shows battery status, volume level and use of HQ mode.
* PlayStation Trophies interface enhancements - I know that many of you are busy collecting trophies and raising your PlayStation Trophy level. This update makes sharing and comparing your trophies with your friends even easier. On 1st part of the profile page you'll see a symbol under level that represents level and the actual percentage towards the next level along with the existing level meter. The level symbol carries over to the trophy comparison screen where you will now be able to see your level, your friend's level and the percentage towards the next level for both users along with all of the game by game comparison information you see today.
* 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.
* Video - This update adds the Scene Search feature similar to the feature on the PSP. Activating this feature while viewing a video on the PS3 will break the video up into scenes that you can quickly access by pressing the X button. You can break the videos into one, two or five minute intervals. 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.
* 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.
* Power Save Settings - You can now set your PS3 and wireless controllers to turn off automatically after set periods of inactivity. Go to Settings then Power Save Settings to turn on these features.
* 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.
* In-game Screenshots - this tool will allow everyone to capture, share and in other words, immortalise their favourite gameplay moments. This will be supported on a game by game basis. Please check back to find out which games will support this feature.
* In addition to all of the features above there are some additional features and enhancements included in 2.50. Once the update launches, you can read all of the details here.
The support for the Bluetooth Headset will be of particular interest to all of you SOCOM fans. With the "Proximity Chat" feature, SOCOM: Confrontation gameplay is intensified as it allows you to experience high-quality voice playback in full surround sound. Whether the action is near or far, Proximity Chat clearly matches distance to sound effects and voiceovers within the game, putting you in the heart of the action.