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Firmware 2.70 Now Out

(update) Sony release 16-player Text Chat in today's new Firmware update, and we uncover a few unlisted new features. Lovely. Now where is my voice chat?

Having experienced the longest lead up to an update that I can remember (with almost a month of speculation), Sony have finally officially confirmed what is in the next Firmware update for the PS3, which, if you have nothing better to do with your Thursday mornings, is now available for download OTA. Most of us were longing for cross-game voice chat, but unfortunately we will have to long for a little more, as our rumours from yesterday were spot on.

The 2.70 update brings a Text Chat feature, enabling us all to communicate with up to 15 online friends via the PSN. But what if I want to play a game and continue to text-chat you ask? Well fear not, you can. The Text Chat feature allows users to chat while playing PS3 games and even participate in up to three chat rooms at once. Other features include new ways to sort your friends via their online status, larger file attachments on message (from 1Mb to 3Mb) and video files purchased on the PlayStation Store can now be backed up to an external storage device.

Not too shabby in my opinion, but they better have something brilliant in store for Firmware 3.0, it’s not far off now. Is expecting my PS3 to clean my house too much?  So, what do you think of Firmware 2.70?  Does it live up to your expectations?  Are we starting to expect too much?  Do you appreciate us trying to bring you every last scrap of information we can on these updates?  Oh, and if after all these false positives you’re still not convinced and you’re away from your PS3, here’s a lovely man telling you all you need to know.  About Firmware, not about making ice cream.

Here’s the direct link to the firmware so you can grab it at work and use up someone else’s bandwidth.  We’ve also noticed this morning that the Firmware Update has a few little secret additions: firstly, you now get an estimated (remaining) time for any downloads so you can watch your live tick away, the Store now seems to offer scrollable windows throughout (including the home page) and finally, Sony seem to think we’re all still using 480i TVs and we’re not allowed to see swearwords on them.

Seriously, the character limit sucks, and a chatroom rull of ***s reminds us of Phantasy Star Online on the Dreamcast,  but other subtle changes abound: Trophy comparisons now show a dash rather than a 0% if your friend hasn’t played it yet, which is useful for seeing who’s shit at the game as opposed to just if they’ve not actually played it, and the comparison on a whole seems to be a lot faster.  If you find anything else, let us know in the comments and we’ll update this post.

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