Next PS3, PSP firmware updates detailed

Sony adds new features for all.

Sony has released the details for the latest round of firmware updates for its platforms, listing a number of improvements for both PS3 and PSP usability.

The PS3 receives the bigger list of presents, with a few tweaks to existing services, as well as some completely new features.

Of most interest, probably, is the addition of a high-quality mode for the Bluetooth headset, a piece of kit which will see much use in the forthcoming SOCOM. The new HQ mode allows for clearer voice chat, as well as some nifty immersion features for SOCOM which will filter chat according to your in-game proximity to the speaker.

Friend lists, Trophies and the PSN store are also being given a bit of a facelift, with extra information more easily available as well as some added functionality - such as Trophy comparisons to fuel your sledging.

There are also a raft of tech changes, allowing power-saving for both the console and the controllers, and the taking and sharing of screenshots from compatible games. Videos can now be split into 'scenes' at the touch of a button to enable easier skipping.

The PSP's firmware 5.0 update is less expansive but does offer the chance to sign into, and completely manage, your PSN account from the handheld. You'll be able to grab games directly from the PlayStation store to your PSP too, something which previously required a PC as a middleman. The downside is that the PC PlayStation store will be down for a little while whilst the tweaks are performed, but it's a small price to pay.

Other improvements include an XMB background redesign and a full-screen keyboard for text input.

Full details of the updates are available at the PlayStation Blog.

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Dan Pearson

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