I don’t think I could be any more unimpressed with the Playstation 3’s 3.00 Firmware update if I tried.
What the heck, lets give it a shot anyway…
I knew party chat wasn’t going to be launched with 3.00, so it wouldn’t be fair for me to grumble about that… but that’s not going to stop me. Every PS3 I owner I know wants party chat and that we still don’t have it is a real kick in the teeth… Xbox fans everywhere must revel in their console’s superiority. I really cannot think of any other single feature that is more important for the majority of PS3 owners that I know. So now that grumble is out of the way lets move on to the new feature:
The first thing you’ll notice on load up is the enhanced default theme which now includes a pretty particle effect that reacts to XMB movements… nice! The second thing I noticed was the new “What’s New” feature that replaces the information ticker. This is another widget that displays select items from the Playstation Store as well (at least it seems to me) some of your most played games which may be launched.
The friends list has had a graphical makeover and friends names now have a grey background… I can only imagine that this was done to aid those with vision difficulties because I doubt they could have made it any uglier if they tried. Trophies are supposed to have been upgraded to make them load and display faster, ironically I couldn’t get them to load at all as they kept stalling at 11%!
UK owners will be pleased to find the new iPlayer application, found in the “TV” section in-between “Games” and “Videos” (If it’s not there straight away you may have to reboot). Annoyingly this isn’t a true application – it’s actually nothing more than a widget that opens the iPlayer on your PS3’s web browser and offers no new functionality to the iPlayer… the least they could have done was deactivate the screensaver whilst the iPlayer was playing. Australian owners (who always seem to get sidelined by Sony) also have a similar application for ABC TV.
The clock, system status indicator and controller battery level have all had a re-tweak and you may now check the time whilst in a game without the battery level getting in the way of the system clock… I suppose i’m supposed to be grateful for this. But it was such a ridiculous UI error to make in the first place I can’t believe it’s taken so long to fix.
Other minor updates include a print screen and screenshot feature in the Web Browser, the ability to output audio to multiple sources, support for dynamic themes and a generous scattering of Playstation Store icons around the XMB.
As I said at the beginning of this post I am utterly unimpressed with this update, the only useful new feature (the clock and battery indicator) is ultimately a fix that should have been addressed some time ago. While I hope the new PS3 slim does something to improve the PS3 marketshare I can’t help wondering why they won’t address the need for a party chat system similar to the Xbox.
Let’s hope the Playstation Home update (out later this month) is a little more feature full!