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PS3 Firmware Updates: Fewer In Number, But More Content?

If you were paying attention during last week's GamesCom news blitz, you read all about the upcoming firmware update 3.00 for the PlayStation 3.

But what you may not realize is that it could be the start of a Microsoft-like trend for the system: less updates, but with each update comes more stuff. Update 3.00 will deliver a totally revamped Information Board, premium avatars and animated themes, PlayStation Store shortcuts, and a significant alteration to the Trophy system (among other small tweaks). It's arguably the biggest update of the year and it should be here on September 1, which is coincidentally the launch date for the PS3 Slim. Is this update the last one for 2009...? Well, according to G4TV, PSN operations director Eric Lempel said it's probably the last "major update," which led to the question: would Sony start issuing fewer updates with more features per update? Lempel responded:

"We try to release updates a few times a year and try to put as much as we can in them and depending on the different schedules and what we have ready at a certain moment, it may or may not make it into an update. We do want to continue to evolve the PS3, continue to go along our road map but also listen to what the users are saying and making the necessary enhancements to make their experience better."

Well, that doesn't really answer the question, but it makes sense. And one can look at the history of firmware updates on the PS3 and see that the number of them has decreased drastically over the years. For instance, during the early days of the system in 2007, firmware updates were arriving on a very frequent and consistent basis; sometimes multiple updates per month. Now, it's more like we see them once in a while - as it should be - but when they do arrive, they come with some serious content. Isn't that the right way to do it?

8/25/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (91 posts)

www
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 10:49:33 AM
Reply

I will update with my portable USB drive as always cause this is gonna be one BIG update, and leaving the PS3 on for that long might be dangerous.

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englishgolfer
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 11:22:41 AM

why would it be dangerous?

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PS3addict
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 11:27:46 AM

I guess you have never played a game or watched a movie on your PS3??
The updates are never more than 2.5 hours download time...

Unless you have 56K or lower bandwidth.

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MadKatBebop
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 11:39:04 AM

Dose it really take 2+ hours to download an update? I know I haven't had a PS3 for that long but when I updated mine it only took like 20-40 minutes tops!

Last edited by MadKatBebop on 8/25/2009 11:41:01 AM

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PS3addict
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 11:43:02 AM

Depends on your bandwidth and how long your PS3 was on the shelf before you bought it.

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MadKatBebop
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 11:49:03 AM

Oh! makes since.

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www
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 11:50:35 AM

Well they say you shouldn't TURN OFF the power during an update in the manual. I'm scared leaving it on whiles updating and someone trips on the power cord or just turns off the system from the switch. But at the same time, some guy put a video on youtube switching his PS3 off multiple times whiles updating and nothing happened, but you'll never know the aftermath. Now if his PS3 died later, he wouldn't put that on youtube, so I can't be sure.

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BTNwarrior
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 12:02:33 PM

I have left my ps3 on for weeks at a time and it never seems to have any ill effects.

And I am using a day one 60gb model so it has had plenty of use

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unleash_jad
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 12:08:13 PM

HEY WWW IM JUST TELLIN U THAT I ALWAYS LEZVE MY PS3 ON ALL-NIGHT-LONG TO DOWNLOAD DEMOS IT NEVER OVERHEATS N IT AINT DANGEROUS AT ALL SO U CAN UPDATE USING UR PS3 WEN UR SLEEPIN OR WEN UR AWAY !!! :D :D

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unleash_jad
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 12:09:53 PM

HEY WWW IM JUST TELLIN U THAT I ALWAYS LEZVE MY PS3 ON ALL-NIGHT-LONG TO DOWNLOAD DEMOS IT NEVER OVERHEATS N IT AINT DANGEROUS AT ALL SO U CAN UPDATE USING UR PS3 WEN UR SLEEPIN OR WEN UR AWAY !!! :D :D

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Orvisman
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 12:15:58 PM

@ JAY_UNIT,

STOP SCREAMING!!!

@ the rest,


Yes, the download time is based on your connection. I have 20/10 Fios, so anything I download is quick.

I'm not sure how long your PS3 sat on the shelf before you bought it has anything to do with it though.

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www
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 12:31:38 PM

Hey ALL YOU!

The key phrase here is WHEN UPDATING, yes 'update'!
You realize the 'Do not turn off your system WHILES UPDATE is in progress' warning, whiles updating???? So I'm basically saying, I don't want somebody in the house to mistakenly put it off or a power outage or something and brick the console, that's all I'm saying!

I'm not saying the PS3 overheats, jeez!!!!!!

JAY_UNIT, am glad I motivated you to sign up and reply my comment, but I already KNOW the PS3 doesn't overheat,thank you.

Last edited by www on 8/25/2009 12:37:53 PM

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NoSmokingBandit
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 4:15:51 PM

www, you are spending the same amount of time updating via USB as you are with the built-in downloader. All you are doing is stopping your ps3 from downloading it. You can pull the plug all you want while its downloading and you wont hurt a thing. The actual update process still akes he same amount of time (probably longer if you use USB because the read/write rate of SATA is much higher than USB).
The only time you need to worry about power outages is when your ps3 reboots into the screen wit the background that doesnt move. The updater always has a static image of some kind of swirly something-or-other.

Also, i dont think you can hurt the ps3's firmware. If i have been told correctly, it has two storage places for Firmware. It only updates one, so if it screws up it can just load the working firmware from the other and let you update again. I think so anyway, i might be wrong about that.

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cLoudou
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 10:50:27 AM
Reply

FW updates with new, free features are always welcome.

three cheers for less FW updates.

hip hip

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kevinater321
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 11:46:18 AM

hooray!

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newchef
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 12:47:50 PM

hooray!

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Imagi
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 1:39:36 PM

hooray!

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Fane1024
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 3:50:39 PM

Booo!

:)

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cLoudou
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 5:33:29 PM

:(

Alright three cheers for less FW updates, but when there are we get cool, free content.

hip hip

....no?


Last edited by cLoudou on 8/25/2009 5:33:51 PM

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MadKatBebop
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 10:53:09 AM
Reply

Cool! I saw a video about the update on the PlayStation site, the update looks pretty awesome. Just wish it included BC.

Last edited by MadKatBebop on 8/25/2009 10:54:56 AM

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Andysw
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 10:55:53 AM

BC won't return unfortuneately.

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www
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 11:02:21 AM

No BC is unfortunate but you should rather get a PS2 cause we gotta move on.
You guys are killing your blu ray lens with those old scratched dvds, maybe Sony knows this.
I never really used the BC on my good ol' late 60GB.

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Alienange
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 7:43:17 PM

Never say never when it comes to your PS3

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Mornelithe
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 10:56:56 AM
Reply

I wonder if they've announced everything that's coming with that update. I've been hearing that there are some still unnanounced goodies included w/in the Update. Either way, I never mind doing FW updates, patches etc.. Being a PC gamer, I'm used to having to make sure I'm up to date on drivers et al. Seems only natural that over time, updates will come.

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jaybiv
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 11:07:43 AM
Reply

Call me crazy, but I used to enjoy the monthly updates when the system first launched.

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BTNwarrior
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 12:04:09 PM

Progress did feel pretty good

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frylock25
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 12:50:39 PM

i did enjoy getting an update and seeing the whole system get a new look and new features quite often. i still remember the update when they moved the store into its own spot on the xmb and added the news ticker in the corner. then all the updates to fix the lag the ticker was causing on all the systems. i have one of the first 80 gigs and have never had a problem with any of the updates (i did wait a bit on that one that was brickin systems so dont know on that one)

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Fane1024
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 3:46:11 PM

I agree with jaybiv. I liked getting a new feature (sometimes more than one) each month. It's not like the update process actually takes a lot of time. Sure, it's a pain if you're planning to play online and one hits you by surprise, but it's five minutes out of your life.

Oh, and they've been on the "less frequent" schedule for a year now, so it's hardly the "start" of the trend.

Last edited by Fane1024 on 8/25/2009 3:46:31 PM

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Jed
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 10:24:32 PM

I know what you mean. It's great to download something and then look around at all the new stuff, seeing if you could find something they didnt mention.

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Highlander
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 11:21:47 AM
Reply

The updates are fine at the frequency they happen now. As long as they're making fixes, adding features and ensuring the security of the system, I don't care how often they update.

One thing they could do is revisit the PS2 BC functionality for the older PS3s. The scaler used seems to have lost some of it's luster in recent updates. PS2 games still look good, but they have looked better in the past. They're still better or on par with running natively on a PS2. It almost looks like the scaling function lost an anti-aliasing pass.

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The_Vandelizer
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 11:26:08 AM
Reply

Hey Ben i work at best buy and we are already selling the slim ps3. doesnt look crazy but i want another. ps3 owns

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PS3addict
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 11:32:42 AM

http://www.engadget.com/2009/08/25/sony-ps3-slim-turns-up-at-florida-best-buy/

Looks like another early release!!!

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Hezzron
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 6:31:58 PM

@ The_Vandelizer - I can back up your story. Upon seeing some posts by people here claiming to have gotten one, I ran out to my Best Buy to see what I could find. Sure enough, I walked out with a PS3 Slim! Beats me why the Moderator hasn't seen fit to post this news yet......however, thanks to all here for the heads up.

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Alienange
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 7:45:07 PM

LOL @ "The Moderator"

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Jawknee
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 11:28:45 AM
Reply

Less frequant but more content? I'm game.

At what point does the PS3 run out of room for firmware updates?

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Highlander
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 11:58:23 AM

Never, the portion of the firmware flashed is fixed in size, but the whole PS3 OS doesn't have to reside in FLASH memory, they can cache some of it to the HDD too. Firmware updates are only limited by the functionality they can imagine adding.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 12:14:50 PM

Awesome. Good to know they can continue to push the OS.

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NoSmokingBandit
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 4:18:20 PM

That would only work, Highlander, if part of the OS is compressed inside the rom chip. They would need to do that so if you install a new HDD the firmware decompresses itself to the new HDD instead of forcing another update. Idk how much space Sony can save by compressing it, but it sounds plausible i suppose.

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Highlander
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 4:47:31 PM

Well, what you do is place the kernel and essential functions in flash and use the HDD for the non-essential things that don't fit. Then if you put a new HDD in your system so that only the firmware residing in flash memory remains. When the system boots up and discovers a new HDD without the system files, it warns you that X,Y,Z feature(s) are unavailable until you re-apply the most recent firmware. In fact I'd design it with a hardware based tamper detection system that detects when the hard disk is removed even if the original is put back. They it would force a firmware update to ensure the integrity of the system cache

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Alienange
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 7:48:06 PM

TheHighlander's got it right. When I installed a new hd in my PS3 there was no letting me restore my files until I installed the latest firmware from usb drive.

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kevinater321
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 11:48:53 AM
Reply

I think they should release them when they are done doing what needs to be done.

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Paolo Kutaragi
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 11:50:14 AM
Reply

"Premium avatars and animated themes" <<< This is what I've been waiting for. ^_^

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Highlander
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 12:00:49 PM

Custom avatars would be nice, they're not huge images after all. I'm sure there's some worry about inappropriate images. But the existing PSN terms and conditions contain more than enough language about mis-use.

Last edited by Highlander on 8/25/2009 12:00:59 PM

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Paolo Kutaragi
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 12:17:27 PM

I want themes like the ones on the US store. Many of premium themes are available there. The idea of the animated themes alone will make the XMB look much more livelier.

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Alienange
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 7:49:38 PM

I want custom avatars. If someone wants to put a boob as their avatar then so be it. You can delete them from your friends list if you're super sensitive like that. Gosh.

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yak4life85
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 11:56:09 AM
Reply

What are they doing with the trophies?

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www
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 12:04:33 PM

Revamping,renovation,reiteration and anything RE to make it better, is what they're doing with the trophies ;)

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fluffer nutter
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 2:40:16 PM

The trophies will now be grouped so that we can easily distinguished which pertain to the original game (think road map to Platinum), and which are for expansion packs. They're also giving developers more freedom with designing the look of the icon for each trophy, upon completion.

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kevinater321
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 12:09:33 PM
Reply

I just uprgraded my firmware today...and i'm not sure what it did. But the ps store is down for me right now. And so is home. I wonder what is going on.

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frylock25
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 12:53:48 PM

the network is down for scheduled maintence. it is posted on the playstation blog.

The PlayStation Network will undergo maintenance tomorrow, August 25th. Maintenance is expected to start at 8am Pacific and could last for several hours. During this time, users won’t be able to access the store or account management, and may encounter some difficulty while signing in to PSN.

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MaximusArcher
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 12:14:53 PM
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It would be nice to be able to MSG from the pan login on the net, u can do pretty much everything else!

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Kai200X
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 12:39:26 PM
Reply

I'm really looking forward to Firmware 3.0

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Scarecrow
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 1:26:11 PM
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software > firmware updates anyway

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 2:11:47 PM
Reply

I'm updating my slim with the latest firmware right now. Went down there and picked up the sexy new slim model after class and I'm loving how quiet it is.

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Hezzron
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 6:40:15 PM

Yes you are!

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LowKey
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 2:13:39 PM
Reply

The only thing I really want in an update is the ability to change the text colour from white, I hate not having my favorite background because I cant read any of my messages and cant read most of the stuff on my PS3.

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www
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 3:53:05 PM

TRUE.That's also another problem.

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Naga
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 2:20:38 PM
Reply

Boo !!

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Fane1024
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 3:53:22 PM

Reply failure?

Oh, well, I've got it covered (see above).

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 4:32:26 PM

AH!, you scared me.

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cLoudou
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 6:52:38 PM

"Boo to you too, boo."

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dveisalive
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 2:29:37 PM
Reply

I was reading people's comments up top and I got to say that I hope you love working to waste your money on your light bill leaving on your PS3 lol! That's why Im getting me a slim Sep 1 for the lower power consumption.

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fluffer nutter
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 2:42:07 PM

What does the PS3 have to do with lights? That would be the electrical bill. Maybe these people have solar panels on their homes? Maybe they live in cold areas and like warmth? Maybe they're not wasting money because nothing else in the house is on?

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 3:25:36 PM

fluffer ftw


btw anytime I see someone mention a "light bill" I'm quickly reminded that they're probably below the age of 16.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 4:33:28 PM

Maybe they think leaving the red light on means leaving it "on"

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Highlander
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 4:54:30 PM

There is this thing, called Stand By mode, it consumes only a watt or two, and has a completely negligible effect on my energy consumption. In actual fact I probably waste more energy than that opening the fridge door to get a drink. My PS3 has the capability of automatically entering Stand By mode after a certain time, My controller does it to. Not sure about yours, though I was pretty certain that it's a standard feature now. Kinda stops your PS3 from chewing through hundreds of watts of energy. I'm just sayin'.... ;)

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Alienange
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 7:53:52 PM

My bills are rather heavy at the moment.

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fluffer nutter
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 2:43:06 PM
Reply

I like more frequent updates when they are to fix things, not just for casual improvement. I'm fine with larger, less frequent updates when they don't include necessities.

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DIsmael85
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 2:51:16 PM
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By the way PS3 Slims are on sale now at Gamestop, they are not street dated.

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 3:26:10 PM

I picked mine up roughly 2hrs ago. I'm loving it right now.

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Hezzron
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 6:39:43 PM

I got one at Best Buy today. Looks like it's go-time for the PS3.

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Kangasfwa
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 4:00:38 PM
Reply

Will 3.0 move the freaking battery display from in front of the clock? I know it's small, but it drives me nuts.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 4:13:56 PM

Same here. Doesn't seem like that was thought out.

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MadKatBebop
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 5:15:41 PM

In the video I saw it said the battery display would be under or right beside the clock.

Last edited by MadKatBebop on 8/25/2009 5:16:09 PM

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Alienange
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 7:54:44 PM

Yes. It's finally getting fixed.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 4:34:39 PM
Reply

Just give us cross game voice chat, not because I want it, or would even use it, but to shut the mouths of the twerps.

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Ricochet
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 6:51:14 PM
Reply

I think of the new Firmware 3.0 as the new "skeletal" structure for the XMB. This means 3.1, 3.2 updates could be more flexible into the system. Say for example, the video section will highlight the main features of PS Store and the like, highlighting the game feature will open up the party-chat, friends list features in the exact same way. You'll have a lot more trouble doing that in the previous 2.0 version.

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solidsnakins
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 7:59:53 PM
Reply

Hi guys, new to posting here. I've always read the articles just never posted any comments. On topic i think this update will be awesome. Kinda off topic about leaving your ps3 on too long. I guess i have bad luck cause my second ps3 just stopped turning on. Blinking red light and i just got this one back like 3 weeks ago and barely used it, i'm really bummed.

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Alienange
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 8:14:52 PM

That is very strange. Since I can't help you with that I'll just welcome you.

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xnonsuchx
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 8:00:34 PM
Reply

I still don't see what makes 3.00 such a big deal...seems a rather minor update to me and should be 2.85 or 2.90.

Last edited by xnonsuchx on 8/25/2009 8:00:50 PM

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Juanalf
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 10:25:27 PM
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I actually enjoy the many small updates even thought I don't even know what they're for half the time.

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orangpelupa
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 10:59:08 PM
Reply

need the OTHER OS in FW update ......

if PS3 slim still have "other OS" it will become:

- great and afforable gaming platform
- cheap server :p
- cheap PC that play many PS3 games :D :D :D
- cheap supercomputer

hmm. now what fixstars will do... they are selling PS3 preloaded with Linux. but no "other OS" on PS3 slim, so fixstars will out of business? O_o

Last edited by orangpelupa on 8/25/2009 10:59:44 PM

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Highlander
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 @ 10:12:16 AM

I think Sony will offer a special configuration for Academic research and game developers to use as game servers. The PS3 as a game server has proven to be very reliable and very capable. I doubt they would throw that away just to prevent consumers using Linux to crack the PS3. Of course IBM may have started charging a license for the Cell BE hypervisor with the ability to load Linux, in which case they save money on the cost of the PS3 by removing this option.

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djduke316
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 @ 11:20:17 PM
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All I want is cross-chat and full 1080p upscaling on all games.

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OriginalSin
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 @ 2:19:17 AM
Reply

I also read somewhere (can't remember the exact source) that there will be a Bravia Sync Function with this update. Where if you have a Sony Bravia it'll Sync with you PS3 and Your T.V remote so you can use that remote for your PS3 as well. For browsing and using it for Blu Ray playback and what not, so you don't have to by a separate remote.

But it also stated that it will only work with the PS3 Slim. So does anyone have more information on this? And why won't it work with the other models?

Last edited by OriginalSin on 8/26/2009 2:21:27 AM

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SkantDragon
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 @ 2:37:24 AM
Reply

I never understood why people bashed on the PS3 about system updates. Even at first they weren't _that_ often, and they don't take all that long. People sure make a big deal out of a few minutes.

What I'd like to see is system updates as often as they happen when those updates contain real content. I'll happily install a system update every week if there's good content in it.

There have been a good number of updates that have little or no apparent effect.

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___________
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 @ 3:22:56 AM
Reply

once a month is more than enough, any more than that and it starts hogging up bandwidth.
but does the FW3.0 update include the "new updated playstation store"?
im getting sick of going down to EB, every time i walk in there they hound me to put a bloody preorder on the lite.
i need to make a shirt saying NO! i will not put a preorder on a ps3 lite so stop asking me.

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___________
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 @ 3:25:47 AM
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anyone know if a C compiler will work on the original fat 60GB ps3s?
i cant believe there still is not a C compiler that works with 64bit operating systems.
like hello 64bit has been out since XP!!!!!!

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Highlander
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 @ 10:06:16 AM

There has to be at least on C compiler that runs on Yellow Dog on the PS3. Doesn't there? I mean that's kinda the point. I bet Sony has one, but I also bet they didn;t release it publicly...

You might want to dig around on IBM's sites, they make a number of Cell based systems and are big into Linux, so they may have a C compiler that's open source-ish for the Cell.

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___________
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 8:30:47 AM

thanks ill have a look.
i still can not understand how there is not 1 C compiler that works with windows vista 64 bit.
its not like 64 bit is brand new, its been out since XP for flaming out loud, you would of thought they would of added 64bit support when it was updated for vista.
it works with 32 bit vista because my old PC is using 32 bit works perfectly but try it on my new PC or laptop running 64 bit, comes up saying its not compatible with 64 bit.
M$ really dropped the ball with vista i hope they dont do the same thing for windows 7 otherwise there going to get hung out to dry.

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MrIreland
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 @ 8:01:48 PM
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Ok hang on a second! When the PS3 first released, updates were coming out way too often and took me 2 to 3 hours to download!!! But I liked updating the system to see what new features they have given my PS3. Keep in mind that the first time I went online with my PS3, my broadband speed was 1mb. Now I have 3mb. ^_^

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