Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Firmware 3.00 Q&A

Posted on 8 September by Mark Bowles - PS3 Brand Manager:

Many of you have been asking why we haven’t responded to your complaints about last week’s 3.0 update until now. Sorry it’s taken us a while to get back to you – this is obviously an emotive subject and there have been a lot of issues raised surrounding the release, so we wanted to make sure we could come back to you with a comprehensive response that answers your most frequently asked questions.

I don’t like the “Fizz”. How do I turn it off?

To turn the fizz off, go to the Theme Settings under Settings on the XMB, you can choose different themes from here. “Classic” is the default theme without the fizz.

Where’s the game start chime gone? Why would you remove it?

One of the reasons we removed the PS3 jingle is that it was created to indicate the start of a game, but now we’re offering non-game content such as Vidzone in addition to games. More importantly though, this change makes the loading time a bit quicker than before, which we think will be a noticeable benefit for all game users.

The BBC iPlayer icon hasn’t appeared on the XMB. How can I get it?

There are 2 criteria for the presence of the iPlayer icon on the XMB:
(1) A PSN account or guest account as a UK resident
(2) A PS3 console sold in the UK. If you don’t have either of them, the icon will not show up. You can access the BBC iPlayer without the icon, by using the PS3 browser. The quickest way to get around it, is to type “iplayer” in the Google search shortcut on the XMB and click “iplayer” from the search result. You will be redirected to the PS3 special site of iPlayer, where you can then press “Select” to add to your bookmark.

For a better experience in the future, we are looking at the possibility of removing point (2). However (1) is required to identify your country of residence.

I don’t like the size of the font and the icons. Why can’t I change it back to its old size?

Based on your feedback, we are looking at the possibility of making the changes optional.

The US and Japan have a few Dynamic Themes available already. Where are ours?

The Dynamic Themes were supplied to all three regions at the same time, but unfortunately, due to the complexities of the PAL region’s PlayStation Store publishing process, they missed our publishing window last week. (Remember, we have 29 stores across 25 countries, which require the use of 13 currencies and 8 languages, so it’s more difficult for us to publish last minute content than it is for either the US or Japan).

We can confirm that some Dynamic Themes will be made available on the EU Store this week, and we have a little surprise prepared especially for our PAL readers that we hope you’ll agree is worth the wait!

I used to be able to surf the net and listen to music simultaneously. Now I can’t. Why?

The PS3 extended the upsampling capability to audio tracks stored on HDD and storage media with v3.00. Some function on the XMB such as the internet browser and photo gallery outputs with 48KHz only so you need to set audio outputs as 48Khz to enjoy music and net surfing.

The first thing I see when I turn my PS3 on is adverts. What does this offer me?

It’s not just about adverts — the primary role of the “What’s New” screen is to get you into the game more quickly. You’ll be able to jump straight into the last three games or applications that you’ve been using. It’s basically acts as a short-cut to the games that are resident on the HDD, so that they can be automatically booted up rather than having to go via the game selection icons on the XMB. In addition, “What’s New” will give you a chance to discover some of the best deals on offer, read about the hottest stories currently making news across the web or even give you a heads up about some exclusive content our own EU Blog. We’re planning to improve “What’s New” in the future with some exciting content and customisation, so we eagerly await your feedback and ideas.

Uncharted freezes ever since 3.00 was released. Is there a fix coming soon?

We’re aware of the problem with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune following the latest system software update and have a team working hard to isolate the issue. We’ll update further information here on the blog, as and when we get it. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and appreciate your patience and understanding.

Well guys, I hope that’s helped answer some of your questions. Thanks to all those of you who have provided positive feedback on 3.0.

As a wise person once said, “You can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time” — We love hearing everyone’s opinion so keep the comments coming!


BBC iPlayer proves a hit on PS3

Sony's PS3 games console now accounts for 10% of all viewing of the BBC iPlayer, according to the UK pubcaster, which has launched a new version it says "bodes well" for Project Canvas.

A PS3-compatible version of the iPlayer has been around for about a year but last week the BBC launched a new version, which it says has already overtaken Apple Macs to become its second most popular platform for IP-delivered TV.

PS3 claims 10% of all iPlayer viewing while Apple Macs have 8.5%. PCs meanwhile are still number one, accounting for around 70%. Virgin Media cable, which claims around a third of total iPlayer viewing, is not included in this count.

"We'll have to wait and see whether this holds up in the coming weeks, but this enthusiastic reception makes it clear that users do want iPlayer on their TV - something that bodes well for Canvas and other IPTV propositions," said BBC Future Media and Technology online and Vision controller Anthony Rose.

The reference to the BBC's plan to create an open IPTV standard comes as the Future Media and Technology executive awaits the outcome of the BBC Trust's final decision on whether it should be allowed to go ahead.

Rose commended Sony on technical work it has carried out recently which made the process of putting the new version of iPlayer on the PS3 much easier.

Sony last week announced that it was bringing its Bravia Internet Video capable devices to Europe early next year with broadcasters across the continent, including the UK's Five, on board.

A BBC spokesman said today that developments with the iPlayer on PS3 would not necessarily mean it would also mean the BBC catch-up service would be compatible with the new Sony TVs.

Porn king calls for PS3 support

The kingpin of the world's largest pornography producer has called on Sony to make downloadable HD adult movies available worldwide through PSN.

The Vivid Entertainment founder and co-chairman, Steven Hirsch, told MCV that he believed the distribution of porn films on PS3 had "real potential" for the adult entertainment industry.

Japanese firm last month revealed that it had launched an HD porn download service for owners of the PS3 – but it is only available in its home territory for the time being.

Euro FFXIII date to be announced in the “very near future”

Square Enix Europe has announced that European FFXIII date is imminent.

"We plan to announce the PAL release timing of Final Fantasy XIII in the very near future", said a rep.

The company has just confirmed a December 17 launch for the RPG’s exclusive PS3 version in Japan, priced 8,800 yen. Sony has also mentioned that a possible FFXIII slim bundle is in the works.

We were told by the game’s developers at GamesCom that it'll hit both the US and Europe on the PS3 and 360 early next year.

Sony investigating PS3 3.0 firmware issues

Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) has confirmed that it is aware and is actively investigation isolated reports of PS3s behaving badly after the latest firmware, v3.0, has been installed. PS3 3.0 included a lot of aesthetic changes to the XMB as well as the addition of "What's New, Status Indicator, Friends List, PlayStation Store Shortcuts, Personalization and improved Trophies".

However, since it was released, there has been numerous reports made on forums about the console acting badly after the latest firmware update has been installed. "SCEA is aware of reports that PS3 owners are experiencing isolated issues with their PS3 system since installing the most recent system software update (v3.00)," the blog reads.

It continues:

"Rest assured that we are looking into the matter and will provide an update here as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience, as it’s our mission to deliver the best consumer experience on all PlayStation platforms".


Monday, September 07, 2009

PS3 Slim Sells 500,000 units worldwide in the first week

According to, PS3 Slim launch sales will top 500k worldwide for the first week, making it one of the most successfull console re-launches in history. The break down of sales are as follows:

Europe(incuding UK)

Approx 200k


Approx 150k


Approx 150k

PS3 software sales around the world have also increased because of the amount of new users. UK sales of Call of Duty 4 saw a 137% rise as a result of retailers bundling the game with the PS3 Slim.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Sony Announces PSN Reality Series: Win a Job at SCEA


SCEA to Award Job at PlayStationSony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today announced an open casting call for “The Tester,” a new competitive reality series created for PlayStation®Network, which will become available exclusively for PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™).

The program will follow a group of gamers as they face off in a series of elimination challenges designed to test their mental prowess, dexterity, and video game knowledge and compete to win a gamer’s ultimate dream job – an official PlayStation game tester. Open casting for the series begins today.

To enter, gamers must complete the online form and submit a short video at.

Explaining why they have what it takes to be a part of the PlayStation family. Selected contestants will then compete over the course of eight episodes, going head-to-head in a series of game-themed challenges designed to test the will and grit of even the most dedicated gamer. The winner will earn a contract position as a tester at PlayStation’s Quality Assurance department in San Diego, CA, where he or she will get hands on time with the most highly anticipated games in the industry.

Leveraging its unequalled studio relationships, PlayStation Network has partnered with reality programming veterans, 51 Minds Entertainment to produce “The Tester.” Widely credited for inventing the celebreality genre of reality programming, 51 Minds Entertainment’s previous credits include many iconic, pop culture hits such as “The Surreal Life,” “Flavor of Love” and “Rock of Love.”

The latest in a series of original programs designed exclusively for PlayStation Network, “The Tester” will debut this winter. Each episode of “The Tester” will be available in high-definition and distributed digitally through the PlayStation®Store. Episodes can be purchased individually or all eight at once through a season pass.

For more information on “The Tester” and how to participate please visit: