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How to Speed Up the PlayStation 3 with an Intel X-25 HDD

200°
323w ago - ExtremeTech has found that replacing the PS3's hard drive with Intel's new X-25 solid-state 80GB drive can reduce a games load times by up to 40%.

However, the drive does not greatly improve install times as the read performance of the Blu-ray drive holds it back. If anyone is considering this upgrade, it will set you back $600.

To quote: We've already raved about the stellar performance of Intel's new X-25 solid-state drive, which just happens to come in an 80GB capacity and 2.5-inch SATA form factor. Perfect for a PS3!

So after a quick FAT32 format, we dropped the drive in the PS3 unit we keep in the HDTV lab here (an original 60GB unit) to see what kind of impact it has on install times, game start times, and load times.

We took four games notorious for long installs or load times and timed them both with the original 60GB hard drive and the Intel SSD. The results may surprise you–but at $600, it's certainly not a cheap upgrade.

Install Speed

There's a lot to love about the PS3, but install times isn't one of them. Many games require lengthy installs before you get to play, and after waiting an eternity for a large demo to download, you get to stare at a progress bar while it installs. Yuck. Does the speedy 80GB Intel X-25 SSD speed this...
 

PlayStation 3 Firmware Update 2.50 Includes DivX VOD Support

200°
323w ago - The Official UK PlayStation site has published an article detailing ALL of the features included in PS3 system software update 2.50. It reveals that support for DivX VOD is included.

[DivX® VOD Registration Code] has been added under [System Settings].

You must use this registration code to authenticate and register the PS3 system to be able to play video files that are compatible with the DivX® VOD (Video On Demand) service on your system.

To quote: If you update your PS3 system, the system software version will be 2.50 and the following features will be updated. In order to download PS3 system software version 2.50, you will need a minimum 140Mb of free space on either the PS3 Hard Disk Drive (System Update) or on removable storage media (PC Update).

Main features in system software update version 2.50

• PlayStation®Network
The account creation screens under [Sign Up for PlayStation®Network] and the menus under [Account Management] have been redesigned.

Other new or revised features in version 2.50

Users

• You now have an option to set the PS3 system to turn off automatically after a background download or installation of content has been completed. This option is available when you are turning...
 

BioShock Developer Details PlayStation 3 Improvements

50°
323w ago - 2K Marin programmer Jake Etgeton reveals that the PS3 version of BioShock will feature new interactive load screens and graphical enhancements due to the use of Blu-ray and the ability to install data on the PS3 hard drive.

To quote: "There are improvements, such as interactive load screens which takes advantage of the increased space on the Blu-ray disc," said Etgeton. "The downloadable Challenge Rooms also offer a slew of new graphical and gameplay content, albeit outside of the fictional universe."

When asked about the PS3 install and how it will affect the game, Etgeton explained, "BioShock PS3 uses a standard one-time 5 GB install. It only takes 10 minutes, and there's even a fancy movie accompanied by Bing Crosby's 'You're Getting to Be a Habit with Me' to help pass the time if you're not off making a tasty, preparatory sandwich."

"Installing to the PS3 hard drive allows us to 'stream' textures and audio faster than the Blu-ray drive can deliver," he justified.

For those of you who want to pick up the PS3 version of BioShock, look for it in stores on October 21.
 

PlayStation Portable Firmware Update 5.00 Now Available!

50°
323w ago - Shortly following the release of PS3 Firmware 2.50 comes PlayStation Portable Firmware Update 5.00 today!

Download: PSP Firmware Update 5.00 (US) / PSP Firmware Update 5.00 (EU)

The PSP Firmware 5.00 update will add direct PlayStation Store access to the system, eliminating the Need for PSP to be connected to a PC or PS3 to download content. PSP owners will be able to download games, demos, trailers, and other game-related content anytime and anywhere that their PSP is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi. This functionality delivers on the portable promise of PSP, making the device even more compelling for gaming and entertainment on-the-go.

Additional enhancements delivered through PSP 5.00 will include:
• On-screen keyboard - A full-size, on-screen keyboard will be added to make text entry during Web browsing easier and more convenient.
• Sleep timer - During music playback, a sleep timer will enable users to shut off their PSP after...
 

PlayStation 3 Firmware Update 2.50 Now Available!

350°
323w ago - As planned, Sony has released PlayStation 3 Firmware Update 2.50!

Highlights of what changes can be expected in the update were detailed earlier today.

Download: PS3 Firmware Update 2.50 (US) / PS3 Firmware Update 2.50 (EU)

More to come as it's available on this, and remember the PSP Firmware Update 5.00 should also be hitting momentarily as previously announced.

To recap: Building upon the foundation set by previous firmware upgrades, the 2.50 system software update will refine existing features while also adding new functionality. The update will deliver exclusive options to support the official wireless headset, as previously announced, such as an on-screen indicator that shows volume, battery charge, and mute functions, as well as a High Quality (HQ) mode, which utilises advanced wireless technologies...
 
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