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PlayStation 3 gets firmware update ahead of Vita’s release

There are only a few more weeks until the PlayStation Vita arrives on shelves in Japan, and Sony is getting ready for the new handheld system’s launch by updating the Playstation 3 firmware.

The 4.00 update was announced on the official PlayStation Blog, and includes a variety of features that serve to integrate the Vita with the PS3 environment. The firmware update will occur throughout the week, and aims to make the PS3 a more universal content management device.

Among the new features added in the update will be the ability to transfer games and content between the PS3 and Vita, back up Vita games and save data to the PS3, and use the PS3 to update the Vita’s system software.

For everyone here in North America and Europe who will have to wait until February for a Vita (or don’t plan on buying one at all), there are a few updates to the PS3 worth noting, too.

The update will allow PlayStation Plus subscribers to pick and choose new features added via the system’s automatic updates, and will include some new settings for managing friend requests and messages.

From the sound of things, it’s not a very robust update for anyone who doesn’t own a PS Vita, so we’ll just have to wait and see if anything else changes in the new 4.00 environment.