Well, tonight’s the night that the brand new PS3 Slim finally becomes available. It was the 14th of May that we first got wind of the new design, and since then it’s been a rollercoaster of legal threats, more leaks, claims of Filipino shops selling them and all climaxing in the official reveal during Sony’s Gamescom conference. It’s been fun, but now it’s down to brass tacks, and the tricky decision on whether or not to make the leap and go out and get one tonight, something I’ll spend the next hour pondering because if I decide I do want to trade in my perfectly functional European launch model chances are I’ll never be able to get one again in this condition, and I’ll need to take time out this afternoon to back up the contents of the current 160GB hard drive that’s in there.
Regardless of that decision, one other fact remains: System Software 3.0 is also out tonight, and whilst there’s no word of the grief reporting and reviews that VG247 claimed were coming, there’s still lots to look forward to when the firmware update clicks into live some point after midnight, and then there’s always the wealth of secret ‘stealth’ updates that aren’t on the official changelog but tend to be more interesting than anything else, such as the new planetary music visualiser that we discovered in Firmware 2.10 way back when. Sony don’t really follow the normal version numbering methodology which suggests that an integer change (such as from 2.xx to 3.xx) would be massively significant, but we’re sure that the sum of all the changes will make the XMB experience even better.
We’ve also seen images of a new firmware for the PSP – version 6.00. This latest update is already with developers and supersedes the 5.70 firmware we saw at Gamescom. Similarly, Sony’s John Koller has confirmed that the battery in the PSPgo won’t be replaceable. “We’ve had a lot of success with the 3000,” Koller says with regards to the ease at which PSP games can be pirated with what’s known as a ‘Pandora’ battery. “You won’t be able to rip your games and play them on the system, the firmware precludes that,” Koller said. “There’s no external battery, so there’s a number of protections put into place on the system.” Naturally, the hackers, like nature, will always find a way, but it’s good to see Sony are aware of the issue and are trying everything to get the publishers on side.