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Sony: PSP Firmware 4.00 Update Hitting Soon

50°
332w ago - PlayStation Network director Eric Lempel has announced that firmware 4.00 for the PSP will be released "soon."

The main highlight of the update, according to Lempel, will be the addition of an in-XMB internet search powered by Google. The search function can retain a history of up to 20 searches.

Additionally, the update will allow users to change the viewing speed of movies played from your Memory Stick Pro Duo. Essentially, you'll be able to slow down or fast forward playback by hitting up or down on the PSP's d-pad while playing a video.

Not a bad update by any means, but we can't help but feel slightly disappointed with the lack of any new major functionality. Where's the built-in PS Store for PSP, Sony? :P
 

Rumor: Sony working on break apart motion PS3 pad

250°
332w ago - According to reports, Sony is working on a new PS3 controller that can "break apart into two separate units, each of which contains an accelerometer for Wiimote-like motion-sensing functionality."

Some developers apparently already have working units. Sony has yet to comment on the matter.

To quote: It's not clear when the pad will be officially announced, but it is believed that working units have already been supplied to certain developer partners, according to sources.

The potential for new game types to be developed with the additional motion-sensing functionality should open up the PlayStation 3 to the sorts of gaming audiences that the Nintendo has been so successful at gathering with its Wii console.

Sony Computer Entertainment will therefore hope that, with the ongoing development of the PlayStation Network, the success of Blu-ray as the de facto next generation standard of video, the gradual roll-out of Home later in the year and the release of additional high definition titles over time, it will be able to overwhelmingly position the PS3 as the best all-round home entertainment unit on the market.

The original controller released with the PS3, the Sixaxis, did contain some motion-sensing ability, although it came at the expense of the popular 'rumble'...
 

Sony brings PlayStation 3 interface to the big screen

100°
332w ago - Sony declares "game on" as Adam Turner discovers the PS3's menu system is now built into Bravia televisions.

The user interface seems to be an afterthought on many consumer electronic devices, but Sony has obviously had its UI boffins working overtime (playing games consoles - nice work if you can get it).

They've decided that the XMB (Xross Media Bar) menu system used by the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable is more friendly that the menus used by Sony's big-arse Bravia LCD televisions, so the new generation of Bravias will utilise the PS3's menu system.

The old Bravias were designed around a standard tree-like menu system, with options opening up to the right as you scroll down through the categories. The Bravia's Xross Media Bar menus are built around a similar concept, the menus are sightly more animated but it still requires you to scroll down through categories as your options pop up on the right.

The Xross Media Bar actually has a similar look and feel to the Vista Media Centre interface and even the changes in Windows Mobile 6.1.

The Bravia's move to Xross Media Bar is more cosmetic than functional, yet I can't deny that I prefer it over the old Bravia menus. Smooth and responsive menus reduce the feeling that you're fighting with a device....
 

Sony Announces: PlayStation-edu!

50°
333w ago - From the PS Blog today: The games industry is always on the look-out for new, talented engineers and programmers who understand how the hardware works under the hood. However, it isn't possible to buy a PlayStation development kit at your local computer store and development for the PlayStation has remained a mystery, even to very interested individuals.

It gives me great pleasure to unveil the mystery and announce the PlayStation-edu program! We expect this program to be a great tool to teach students about the PlayStation platforms.

PlayStation-edu is a program for universities and colleges to get access to PS2 and PSP development kits...the same ones that professional developers use to make the games you love to play. You get the development software, the hardware, and the SDK to learn and experiment with. SCEA wants to make sure that students who are graduating from college are ready to program on PlayStation hardware and that means getting it into your hands.

PlayStation-edu is not a general game creation program (sorry artists and designers). It is for computer science and engineering students who want to understand how the hardware works in the PlayStation consoles. Schools which teach game programming or computer architecture can use the development kits in their classes.
 

Sony's DualShock 3 Controller for PS3 finally arrives

50°
333w ago - When Sony Computer Entertainment's behemoth, the PlayStation3 (PS3) launched locally back in March last year, one missing feature from earlier PlayStation console systems was the rumbling controller.

While the PS3's new wireless SIXAXIS controller debuted in all its motion-sensing glory, the vibrating feature wasn't included due to legal action at the time that saw both Microsoft and Sony being sued for a patent infringement to do with the technology both of their consoles controllers used. While Microsoft settled out of court by purchasing shares in the company Immersion, Sony chose to fight on defending their case.

Though fast forward a few months and $100 million later and Sony too has settled its differences with Immersion, which cleared the path for them to release the game controller that should have shipped with the PS3 in the first place, the DualShock 3.

Featuring exactly the same physical look, shape and tilting-goodness as the SIXAXIS controller, the only things that tell these two apart are a subtle insignia and the weight difference with the heavier DualShock 3 now a more comfortable 190g.

There's currently over 60 PS3 titles that support the DualShock3, either automatically or after a downloadable patch and naturally any new titles are going to be rumble-ready.
 
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