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 PS3 Firmware 2.5 Update Released
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Message Text: Sony Japan today released software updates for the PS3 and PSP systems, adding new features and enhancements to both platforms.

PS3 firmware update (v.2.50) includes the implementation of advanced voice chat features for the PS3 Official Bluetooth Headset, the ability to capture screenshots in-game with supporting titles in the future, and enhancements to make the PlayStation Trophy interface more intuitive. PSP firmware update (v.5.00) adds direct access to PlayStationStore on PSP, enabling consumers to browse the store and download games whenever they?re at a Wi-Fi hotspot.

The system software updates are currently available in Japan and they will be released in the US and Europe later this month.

PLAYSTATION 3 Firmware 2.50 Update

The update delivers exclusive options to support SCEA?s Official Bluetooth 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 utilizes wireless technologies and the Headset's dual-microphone design to enable wide-band wireless voice communication with PS3 system. HQ mode improves the voice chat experience in multiplayer titles such as SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation, which will be bundled with the Headset when it launches at retail this week.

The firmware update also adds an in-game screenshot capture tool, laying the groundwork for developers to add capture and sharing options to their games and allowing players to immortalize their favorite gaming moments and share them with friends. Titles that support the feature are expected to be announced in the future.

The 2.50 update also enhances the user interface for PlayStation Trophies. When players acquire a Trophy, the in-game notification now includes the specific Trophy icon created by the developer, while more intuitive options for comparing Trophies with friends have been added, including an icon to represent the Trophy level. The Trophy system will continue to expand through future firmware updates.

Other new features delivered through PS3 firmware 2.50 include:

Video - A video scene search functionality provides thumbnails to help you find a particular scene in a video more easily.
Information Board - The Information Board is able to include direct links to PlayStation Store, making it easier for PS3 owners to download content that they read about on the Information Board.
Power save - PS3 owners have the option to automatically shut-off their console or controllers after pre-selected periods of inactivity.

More inforamtion is available at

PSP Firmware 5.00 Update

As demonstrated at the Tokyo Game Show last week, 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 system is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi.

Additional enhancements delivered through PSP firmware 5.00 will include:

On-screen keyboard - A full-size, QWERTY 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 system after a specified amount of time.
Video-out - The PSP-2000's video-out feature will be able to display classic PlayStation format titles at the full-screen size of the TV that the PSP is connected to; the feature also will support interlace displays.
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