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Direct PSP Store launches worldwide

New PS3/PSP updates unite PSN.

Sony has upgraded PlayStation 3's firmware to version 2.5 and PSP's to version 5.00, ushering in the biggest changes to both systems since the launch of Trophies and the in-game XMB this summer.

Both sets of firmware should be available through the system update menus on either console, or you can download them from your local branch of PlayStation.com.

And for once it's the PSP that headlines, thanks to the launch of the direct-access PSP Store, which finally allows handheld gamers to buy and download content without the use of a PC or PS3 as an intermediary.

What's more, the new firmware launches allow you to use your PSN account across both systems, firming up the relationship between the two consoles so they can talk to each other at Christmas and that.

For a closer look at the PSP Store, you can check out a video on the PlayStation Blog, which ought to illustrate the advantages of upgrading, and the things still left to implement.

On the PS3 front, meanwhile, there's a raft of less dramatic changes, but a couple of significant ones: controllers and the system itself now have power-save options, and it's possible to send the console to sleep when it finishes downloading or installing.

There are also tweaks to the Trophy interface, official PS3 Bluetooth headset support, and Flash 9 support in the web-browser. As Sony notes with a bit of wry self-deprecation, this means you can actually watch the blog's PSP Store video on your PS3 rather than having to do so on a PC or Mac.

For more on the PS3 and PSP changes, check out our original story and yesterday's update.