289w ago - Dying to see what the new firmware update 2.0 looks like? Check this out! Hopefully this will quench your thirst for a couple days until it is released!
You've been waiting for it. Firmware 2.00 is finally coming out this week: tomorrow, to be precise. This update, which has been a year in the making, was supposed to herald a new era of functionality for PS3. Many expected in-game XMB, additional video codecs, and more. However, we're saddened to say that none of that made the cut for this update. Here's what you'll be seeing tomorrow:
Remote Start - As hinted by the last PSP firmware update, Remote Play has been enhanced with a brand new feature. Using Remote Start, PSP owners will be able to turn on and access their PS3's content from any wi-fi hotspot. For example, while vacationing, you may find out about an excellent Thursday Store update. You'll be able to turn on your PS3 and start downloading content to your PS3 while you're away. When you're done, you can turn the system off as well.
Information Board - On the upper right-hand corner of the XMB, you'll see a scrolling list of headlines, hand-picked by Sony. Currently, these will all be related to video games and PlayStation. If a specific headline is particularly interesting, PS3 owners will be able to access Information Board from Network and see the content in greater detail. Importing your own RSS feeds is something that's planned for a future firmware upgrade. This feature can be disabled in Settings.
Themes - PSP owners recently got access to the ability to create custom themes for their system. PS3 owners will also get this feature. Not only will you be able to customize your wallpaper, you'll be able to change the icons and fonts used in the XMB. An official theme creator will be available for the PC, so users will be able to create their own and share with their friends. Additionally, new themes will be made available on PlayStation.com and the PLAYSTATION Store. The best user-generated themes will also be featured on the official site.
XMB Color Selector - The background of the XMB is no longer out of your control. The color of the XMB waves background can be selected in Settings.
Music & Photo Playlists - You can now open and create your own playlists from within the XMB. For example, you can create a "Party Mix," which features your favorite songs from your PS3. Playlists cannot be imported from Memory Stick, and music and photo playlists cannot be combined. However, future firmware updates will improve this feature.
Additional Sorting Options - Currently, music can be sorted by Artist and Album on the PS3. Additionally, users will be able to sort by Year.
DualShock 3 support - You'll be able to turn on and off DualShock 3 support from the Settings menu on the XMB.
PLAYSTATION Network XMB group - The PLAYSTATION Network will get its own icon on the XMB, and will be featured between Network and Friends. Within the PLAYSTATION Network, you'll be able to access the PLAYSTATION Store and Account Management. "Other features" will be included in the future, such as Home.
Canon printer support - Additional printers are now supported by the PS3.
That's all the updates found in PS3 firmware 2.00, which will be available tomorrow. When speaking with SCEA representatives, we found out that in-game XMB support is still in the works, and that additional video support is "almost definitely" happening. However, there's still no clear indication as to when these features will be incorporated. A regular schedule of updates is planned for the coming year, but specific details were not provided.
We're certain that many PS3 owners will be disappointed by how underwhelming the 2.00 update is, especially in light of the rumors that spread on the internet. However, this update provides the framework for a much meatier PS3 experience. For example, the PSN XMB icon will be expanded quite significantly over the next few months, as services like Home add much more weight to the online PS3 experience. Media is clearly important to Sony, and the addition of playlists is an important first step in the right direction.
They've heard your wants and grievances -- we're confident that future firmware updates will offer even more functionality. 2.00 may not be the Second Coming that everyone expected, but it's certainly a beneficial free upgrade. Now, let's begin counting down to the next firmware update.
Stay tuned for more PS3 Hacks and PS3 CFW news, follow us on Twitter and be sure to drop by the PS3 Hacks and PS3 Custom Firmware Forums for the latest PlayStation 3 scene updates and homebrew releases!