Firmware 2.17 For PS3 Available Now
During the early days of the PS3's lifespan, owners found themselves downloading firmware updates on a relatively frequent basis. There would be stretches where we'd see several per month, but recently, the updates have trailed off. Sony said we'd be seeing this as time went on; our last update was around Christmas of last year.
However, firmware update 2.17 is now available to all PS3 owners, and you will be asked to download it today. There was much speculation as to what this update altered or enhanced, but Sony has stepped forward on their US blog to clear the air. Evidently, 2.17 simply improves the "operating stability of some online PS3 titles." The Network is typically quite reliable, but it could always use a stability patch for certain games, like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, for example. Beyond that, it doesn't seem as if the update fixes or addresses anything else, so this one seems geared entirely towards the online functionality of the system. Hence, if you've experienced lag or dropouts in your favorite online title, download 2.17 and see if that makes a difference.
The bigger news surrounds upcoming firmware updates for the PSP - Sony is really ramping things up with their handheld - but whenever the PS3 receives an update, we'll be sure to let you know. This one isn't that exciting, but it's certainly worth mentioning.
3/13/2008 Ben Dutka