Whilst the PS Vita hasn’t been the subject of a great deal of positive chatter over the last few months, the recent announcement of PlayStation Plus for the platform was met with considerable enthusiasm. That won’t necessarily translate into sales for the console – that will be down to how Sony market the subscription service – but it does placate those already invested, albeit temporarily.
In the meantime, as part of Plus, the PS Vita has been updated to version 2.00. Back on the PSP, 2.00 was a major refresh, bringing the web browser to the PS Vita’s older brother. This time around it’s a similar story with the Vita getting a massive overhaul of that particular bit of software. A quick test suggests that the HTML5 rendering is a big step in the right direction, getting a score of 243 on html5test. It was previously 58.
That’s nowhere near perfect (it’s out of 500, and Chrome easily gets around 450) but it’s better, much better. And crucially, it’s faster too, and as we said yesterday it’s now able to run alongside a game, meaning you don’t need to quit out of WipEout to browse the web.
The PS Vita gets its first major system update.
You can also transfer content between a Vita and PC over Wi-fi, rather than having to use the cable – you’ll need a new version of the Content Manager Assistant for that, though, it won’t just work. Folders can be transferred too, not just individual files.
Other tweaks to existing applications include a boost to Maps, which can now display weather information. There’s some nice system-level stuff too – you can now use the Vita’s buttons in more applications (if you’re averse to the touchscreen interface) and you can configure the alert notifications a bit more too.
However, it’s – as usual – away from the official lists that things become more interesting. For example, you can now freely stretch and move the screen for PSOne games, meaning custom sizes and aspect ratios, a nice feature, although you can’t yet run a PSP game in 1:1 pixel ration, which seems like an easy change to make but one that continually gets overlooked.
Other things picked up elsewhere this morning include the fact that the LiveArea for the Friends app now shows what your friends are up to, the screenshot function is now instant, friend requests now have the ability to add a message, the Video app has been altered a little with new features like slow motion replays, games can be updated without having the card in and a few little tweaks to how Trophies are displayed.
It’s a great update, that’s for sure. I’d personally still like to see folders implemented, so I can organise my apps and games away from the still slightly clunky scrolly bubble menu, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.
PS Vita firmware 2.00 is available now.