At Gamescom 2009, Sony has just announced that PS3 firmware 3.0 is coming, and it'll be a pretty nifty update. The new firmware will provide a few notable updates to the PS3 interface, including a What's New section and animated avatars for your PSN identities.
As well as animations, an improved friends list is on the way, along with status bars that show your current friends and messages at a glance. There will also be PlayStation Store shortcuts within the interface, with dynamic themes soon to be made available, and players will also be able to change how the PS3 displays Trophies.
PSN Cards are also coming to Europe, available in both 20 Euro and 50 Euro flavors. Speaking of European features, streaming music video service VidZone will be expanding to more territories across the PAL region. Also, just in case you truly cared, the new firmware will change the location of the battery meter. SHOCKING!
When the update comes in September, one can expect more video download news. Beginning with just movies, the video service will work with both the PS3 and the PSP. So yay, firmware 3.0 is coming, and Europeans are starting to get some stuff that other people have had for a while. Good times!
“What’s New” – The “Information Board” will be replaced with a “What’s New” section, which allows you to enjoy interactive PlayStation news every time you start the PS3 system. Located under the PlayStation Network icon, “What’s New” displays the latest and greatest game, video, PlayStation Network and PlayStation news and releases, as well as your recently played games, in a sleek, new animated format.
Status Indicator – In the top right corner we’ve added an indicator bar, which displays your user icon, friend icon, the number of friends you have online and a small message icon to let you know if you have any new messages. The indicator also includes a scrolling ticker that features the latest news from PlayStation Network. In addition, when you press the PS button, the battery life indicator will no longer cover up the clock.
Friends List – Now your PlayStation Network friends will appear in a slightly redesigned format on your Friends List. Also, messages will now be viewable from each of your friends’ respective profiles.
PlayStation Store Shortcuts – We’ve added a handy shortcut icon to the PlayStation Store under both the Game and Video categories so you can access the latest content quickly and easily.
Personalization – Personalize your PS3 with new dynamic custom themes and avatars. Dynamic themes as well as free and premium avatars will be available through PlayStation Store. A dynamic theme takes your screen to a whole new level as it incorporates animated objects into the background.
Trophies – Showcasing your hard earned trophies just got better. Update 3.00 gives game developers the ability to modify how they display trophies for add-on content. Base and add-on game trophies will continue to be combined into a single list so you can see where you stand in a game as a whole. Within that list, trophies will be broken out into subcategories—base trophies and add-on trophies—that way, you can easily view the percentage of your base game trophy collection, and separately track your trophy progress in add-on packs. Look for this enhancement to be included in upcoming games.