Lunchtime Discussion: PS3 Firmware Updates

The topic of PS3 System Software updates is about as ‘Marmite’ a conversation as you can get. Yes, they often bring lots of cool new functionality to the PlayStation 3, but they’re shrouded in mystery (sometimes), often mandatory and generally massive, slow to download and apparently prone to causing the odd upset when hardware ‘breaks’ as a result.  With normally only a day’s notice as to when to expect the next firmware, news normally conveyed by the US Blog, in my opinion whilst the improvements brought about by the firmware are appreciated and well received, having to download the whole thing every time seems archaic and a pain in the backside.

I don’t know why Sony do this – if the PS3 itself is capable of detecting which firmware it’s already running on why not just download the patches required to bring it up to speed (much like the 360 does) instead of the 150-odd MB image that not only takes an eon to grab but also seems to take just as long installing, flashing and rebooting.  I presume it’s a security thing, the PS3 will check against the file’s checksum to ensure it’s not been tampered with and you can download the file yourself once it’s placed on Sony’s servers to avoid having to watch your PS3’s wifi LED flicker on and off for 10 minutes, which is my preferred method.

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But what do you think about these firmware updates?  There was a period earlier in the year when they were coming thick and fast and barely brought anything new to the table (the big ones recently were 2.40 for Trophies and then 3.00) apart from the odd security patch and a fix for something broken in the last update, but now they do appear to be a little better spaced and generally filled with more goodies to play with each time.  And then there’s the most recent changes, like the grey friends list, the much enlarged font used on the XMB and the (presumably) money making premium themes that have been the source of much debate here on TSA and across the internet.

As ever, it’s over to you guys to take the floor.

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