Agreed, while things like this are great for developers most end-users won't bother with hardware solutions that involve opening the PS3 and a lot of soldering as it isn't worth risking damaging the console... they will just wait for a more user-friendly solution to come.
I think the reason the original JailBreak devices were so popular was because they were plug-and-play without opening the PS3 and also at the time Custom Firmware wasn't available either.
I'm certain it will be a solder solution. If it was USB/Solderless it would have been hacked long ago. This is going to work like Infectus or Progskeet or the old XBOX1 modchips, where the chip responds to the CPU's bootup request for BIOS and and inserts the CFW into the system from its own NOR/NAND instead of the one on the motherboard. That way you can install OFW 3.70 for new games and CFW 3.55 for homebrew. It's a step in the right direction, but still locks us out of all games that are 3.56+ that can't be hacked.
Video: E3 Flasher PS3 Slim 3.70 Downgrade to 3.55 Firmware
Following up on the initial news, today the E3 Team have made available a video of their E3 Flasher downgrading a PS3 Slim 3.70 Firmware console to version 3.55 without any soldering required.
To quote: E3DIY team announces a successful Slim Downgrade v3.70 to v3.55 with our new E3 FLASHER!
In only FIVE minutes, the whole downgrade progress was completed!
Time is short and operation is very easy, this is because of our exclusive special E3 FLASHER design:
ONE-Button Operation and NOR Flash onboard!
E3 FLASHER compatible all NAND FLASH and NOR FLASH consoles
With SLIM Consoles, no need for any soldering!
But with PHAT Consoles, some soldering will be needed!
In this video there no images of the E3 FLASHER as we need to keep our design under wraps until it is ready for release, I hope everyone understands.
The official version should be released next week, at that time there will be more videos and pictures and everything will be available to the public.
Also below is an E3 Flasher PS3 Dual Boot 3.70 to 3.55 Firmware video and details via e-mail:
E3 FLASHER - Dual Boot (3.70 to 3.55)
E3DIY team success dual boot with E3 FLASHER, you can switch 3.7 and 3.55 in few only a few seconds!
Easy with 1 key operation.
E3 company will release all details like picture, installation, operation and price next week.
Team E3DIY get another great progress for PS3 with E3 FLASHER, it will release at the same time next week.
PS: 4times switch showes same MAC address, to prove it is the same console.
Finally, from http://blog.damox.net/?p=52, to quote on PS3 3.70 to 3.55 Firmware downgrading via Dospiedra's downgrade v2 patches:
This post will look at the different DATE-CODES that are present on the casing of a PS3 and if that DATE-CODE relates to a console version that can currently be downgraded from 3.70 to 3.55 using dospiedra’s V2 downgrade or a FAT console alternative.
The principle behind DATE-CODES is simple: the first character represent the YEAR, and the second character represents the QUARTER of that year it that console was manufactured.
DATE-CODE of “XY” would mean the console was manufactured in the “Y” QUARTER of YEAR “X”. Simple right?