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December 6, 2006 - Servers at Sony Computer Entertainment are bound to get a pounding this week, as both its next-gen console and handheld game system have received version updates with new releases today. The PS3 has received a moderately significant update (although still not the "major update" some are anticipating, while the PSP has been given an incremental update that is said to only been needed to fix an issue with a recently-released game in Japan.

For PS3, we're jumping from firmware 1.11 to 1.30. Sony's updating history saves the big +1 updates for huge system revisions (the PSP's 2.00 update added the highly-anticipated web browser and AVC playback, and the recent 3.00 update added the ability to play downloadable PS one games), with the incremental 0.1 updates being sometimes major as well but also sometimes not very much; if you see a jump of just 0.01, don't even bother unless you have to. This PS3 jump of two tenths seems major, but the feature set so far doesn't seem to be significant, though it does add some important PS3 features. You won't get scaling of PS3 playback to take care of the 720p/1080i problem or to boost PS1/PS2/DVD playback, but you will be able to use the upcoming PS3 Blu-Ray remote as well as a number of accessories formerly not supported on PS3.

Below is a listing of the updates made to version 1.3 of PS3:
  • SETTINGS -- You can now register the BD remote control in Register Bluetooth Device under Accessory Settings
  • SETTINGS -- BD/DVD Video Output Format (HDMI) has been added as an option under BD/DVD Settings
  • SETTINGS -- Backup Utility has been added as a feature under System Settings
  • SETTINGS -- You can now select the hard disk format method in Format Utility and Restore PS3 System under System Settings
  • SETTINGS -- The method of selecting output resolution has been changed in Video Output Settings under Display Settings
  • DRIVERS -- The compatibility of USB devices with PlayStation®2 format software titles has changed. (The PS3 is now compatible with the following:
    • Logitech Driving Force USB Steering Wheel
    • Logitech Driving Force Pro USB Steering Wheel
    • Logitech Driving Force EX USB Steering Wheel
    • HORI Flightstick2 USB Flight Stick
    • Logitech Flight Force USB Flight Stick

For PSP, users are now able to download version 3.02, up from v3.01. And if it sounds like a small update to you, then you are right. The PSP 3.02 only adds a small security patch, and PSP Vault is reporting that the simple update has more to do with a problem with the new PSP release of Parappa the Rapper (which features downloadable music abilities) than it is anything anybody who doesn't have Parappa should be worried about. (Supposedly, PSP 3.01 was the same quick-fix, that time a patch for loading issues in Japan's newly-released Jeanne d'Arc -- given that some users reported to IGN noticeable load fixes with GTA: Vice City Stories that smoothed out most of the audio glitches and some of the streaming flaws, that would make sense that its UMD addressing has been an issue SCE has been toying with.) The following is what is officially the contents of PSP v3.0.2:
  • A security patch has been added to address security vulnerabilities in the system software
Both updates are now available in all major territories. You can download the updates from the official SCE sites. US PS3 and PSP owners can check the sites below (or simply download the updates from the Network Update feature on the systems themselves), others should check out the general PlayStation.com for more info on their neck of the woods.

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