The Truth: Yesterday news surfaced regarding what Eurogamer sister-site VG247 were calling ‘Firmware 3.0’. Without giving away much in the way of concrete details (although we’re promised they’re coming), VG247 appeared to have something of a scoop. As it turns out, sadly, those rumours are apparently entirely groundless. Firstly, the expected comment from Sony PR: “Those rumors are completely untrue, nothing has been announced or confirmed for upcoming PlayStation firmware, and this is just wild speculation,” said PlayStation’s Patrick Seybold.
The Fallout: Secondly, via brief interchanges with a group of individuals who wish to remain anonymous, nobody outside of VG247’s source has any idea what they’re talking about. Naturally PS3 software developers often get advance notice of any new firmware updates (as was the case with 2.80 earlier in the week) but no-one can confirm on record that 3.0 is even planned, and it’s safe to say that whatever we’ll eventually get in 3.0 won’t be made concrete until much closer to its release. It’s entirely possible that the changes referenced by VG247 yesterday, including grief reporting and dual HDMI/optical output, will come into fruition at some point, but wrapping these changes up in and calling it 3.0 is a bit of a tease.
The Rumours: What we are banking on, however, is that Sony are intending to further integrate Home into the XMB. Currently accessible from one of the menus and thereafter a completely separate interface, rumours have reached us that Home will ultimately be as much as part of the PlayStation 3 UI as Avatars are in the Xbox 360’s NXE. Bear in mind that this information isn’t coming from anyone at Sony, so don’t start foaming at the mouths just yet, but it does seem like an obvious route for the firmware to take. We are also to expect far better friend integration on the XMB itself, and a new way for Sony to get information on new releases, Store updates and other news our way.
The Conclusion: The problem with rumours like the recent firmware 3.0 story is that they get out of hand and people, regardless of the tag you give the story, believe them – especially when you publish a story as if it was fact. Don’t get me wrong, I like aspects of what Eurogamer and VG247 are doing, but classing such otherwise seemingly incremental changes as a “a completely new system” is both baffling and misleading. So, until VG247 unveil the rest of the so-called 3.0 update we’ll just have to make do with the obvious notion that Sony are working hard on the PS3’s system software and will continue to do so, regardless of what digits get applied to the version number.