PlayStation 3.0 firmware released

What's New, iPlayer, Friends overhaul.

Sony has updated PlayStation 3's firmware to version 3.0.

The bumper update - supposedly the last big one of the year - promises dynamic themes, avatars, a "What's New" panel, a redesigned status indicator and a Friends list overhaul.

For users in the UK and Republic of Ireland, it also introduces BBC iPlayer as an application, although we'll be interested to see how that's implemented...

According to Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida, What's New - the new default pane, instead of the Games menu - was envisaged as a way of combating the increasing volume of content.

"There are more and more contents on the PSN store, so you may miss something that might be very relevant to you," he told us at gamescom last month.

"The games you're playing every day, new content might have just appeared, but is buried in the layer of menus on the store. So things like 'What's New' are trying to customise the experience so what you do gets reflected in what you see the next day."

It's also possible to dig down into Trophies in new ways, making it easier to get a sense of which ones are left to collect.

As with all such updates, it's a mandatory download next time you log onto PlayStation Network.

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