Sony’s Satoshi Hashimoto, in an interview with Impress Watch, has revealed a few of the new features in Firmware 3.0 that haven’t yet made the full change log we reported on earlier in the week. There’s quite a few new snippets of information to be gained from the interview which the AndriaSang blog has translated for us below – note that in addition to the bulletpoints Firmware 3.0 will not be enforcing a removal of any installed Other OS systems, that’s just for the new slimline PS3s and not any that have Linux already running.
- Version 3.0 of the the firmware will add the ability to upconvert audio from hard disc and USB sources to 88.2KHz or 176.4KHz. This is something that was added with version 1.8 exclusively for CDs.
- The right analogue stick functionality during video playback looks like it will be pretty powerful. When you push the stick in any direction, the video will pause. You can then rotate the stick for speeds ranging between slow motion and four times. Rotate clockwise, and you’ll advance the video. Counterclockwise will backtrack. The speed can be adjusted at a precision of 0.01 times. Let go of the stick, and the playback will continue at normal speed.
- The web browser’s print screen functionality can output to a printer connected via USB and over LAN. Only certain printers are compatible though.
- This is something you might have not noticed before (I certainly never gave much thought to it). Currently, when you start up your PS3, the XMB interface begins by pointing at the games section. Starting with firmware 3.0, the interface will default to pointing at the newly added What’s New section of the network column. This is true even if you have a disc in the system. You can go into the settings menu to switch back to the original behavior if you like.
- The analogue clock display in the upper right side corner of the screen has been switched to a busy indicator. When the system is working, you’ll see the clock spinning.
- The font size and icon size for the main interface have become a bit bigger. This was implemented in order to better show what area is in focus.
- From version 3.0, all versions of the PS3 — old and new — will have a change to their startup sequences. When booting up the system for the firts time, PlayStation family logo, PS3 logo, and PlayStation 3 logo will all display simultaneously. When you start up a game, the PS3 logo will no longer be shown, giving a slight boost in speed to startup time. Note that this does not apply to original PlayStation games, as they run on an emulator.
- Version 3.0 adds support for more dynamic themes using videos and other elements. The system’s base “wave” theme has also been changed to a display of fine particles. Backgrounds for such themes are created by the same SDK that’s used to make games. There’s a slight bit of interaction with the particle effects. If you’re scrolling down, the particles will flow down. If you’re scrolling left, the particles will flow left.
Sounds cool, especially the analog video transport controls, something the PS3 already excels in but appears to give even more precise control of the playback speed. Everything else sounds like tweaks to the UI in one way or another, and although the new ‘particle’ system for the XMB wave sounds nice enough, I’d be perfectly happy with the updated version the PSP has, it’s far simpler and much more effective without being too fancy. As ever, once the new firmware’s out in the wild for mere mortals we’ll be publishing our findings and letting you know of any minor new features that haven’t yet been made public.