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Sony Ships New PS3, PSP Firmware

Sony Computer Entertainment has shipped firmware version 2.5 for its PlayStation 3 console and firmware version 5.0 for its PlayStation Portable (PSP), adding new capabilities to each device. The PS3 firmware update adds support for Sony’s official Bluetooth headset and Flash 9 video support, while the PSP firmware update adds the PlayStation Store, enabling users to download games whenever they’re at a Wi-Fi hotspot.

"These firmware updates keep both PS3 and PSP in lockstep with consumer expectations for gaming and entertainment, particularly the ability to download PSP games on-the-go, which is a functionality we know consumers can’t wait to get their hands on," said Sony’s senior VOP of marketing and PlayStation Network Peter Dille, in a statement.

The PS3 v2.5 firmware adds support for Sony’s Official Bluetooth Headset, supporting a high-quality mode and including an onscreen display showing volume, battery level, and mute functions. (For the curious, the headset will be bundled with SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation when it ships next week.) The update also adds an in-game screenshot tool for posting your best moments to…well, anywhere, once games support the feature. The update also improves the trophies interface, a video scene search functionality, and information board with links to the PlayStation Store and a Power Save mode that enables users to have their consoles or controllers automatically shut off after a certain amount of idle time.

However, perhaps most significantly—and omitted from Sony’s announcement about the update—is integrated Flash 9 support in the PS3’s Web browser. The upshot is that PS3 users can now tap into online video sites that require the Flash 9 plug-in to stream content. One irony? Adobe is releasing Flash 10 today.

The PlayStation Portable version 5.0 firmware adds the ability for PSP users to tap into the PlayStation Store via Wi-Fi, so they can download games trailers, and other content anywhere they can sneak onto the Internet. The update also adds an onscreen QWERTY keyboard, a sleep timer, and a video out function for the PSP-2000 that lets users pus classic PlayStation titles to full-screen size on a connected television.