PS3 Firmware 3.0 Adds New XMB, Dynamic Themes, Avatars

Illustration for article titled PS3 Firmware 3.0 Adds New XMB, Dynamic Themes, Avatars

PlayStation 3 firmware 3.0 is coming soon, bringing with it new XMB functionality, a status indicator, a friends list redesign, dynamic themes, avatars, and much more.

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Announced during Gamescom and highlighted at the PlayStation blog, firmware 3.0 doesn't revolutionalize the way we navigate the PlayStation 3, but it does bring some welcome changes. The most prevalent of the changes is a status bar in the top right of the screen, which shows your avatar, your user icon, what you are up to, and a mail icon, in case you have messages waiting.

Changes will make the friends list more friendly, with messages from your friends now appearing in their respective profiles.

The games and video categories of the cross media bar will now feature shortcuts to the PlayStation Store, reflecting downloadable content and related items available.

Premium themes, as seen in the video below, are animated themes that make your PS3 a bit more lively.

The most puzzling update, for me at least, is the new free and premium avatars, which will be showing up in your status bar. What other uses will they have?

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Update: Firmware 3.0 will be released on September 1st, according to Sony's PS3 Slim press release.

For a full list of updates, check out the PlayStation Blog, and watch the video below to see some of the new features coming in firmware 3.0.

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PlayStation 3 Firmware (v3.00) Update [PlayStation Blog]

DISCUSSION

d20Dark
d20Dark

Ok Sony, it's not that this isn't a nice update to our PS3's- but it's almost a carbon copy of everything the Xbox 360 had with it's NXE update last year! It's like they just sat back, waited, saw what worked- and copied all of it. And again, it's fine and the update is welcome- but it feels SO damn hollow. Sony used to really match punch for punch innovations with NEW innovations. Now they just seem to be phoning it in. It's making the PS3 seem like a dead system and less like an up and coming system. It feels more like a living room PC than a game machine with this sort of "me too" copying features thing. The ONLY thing different is a 'link directly to the game website via the web'. And if that's the best they have- something I can do from my PC faster, just as easy and at a place I'd rather surf the web from... this is just sad.