Before I get to the news in the title, here’s something interesting for the week. Folks at PSJailbreak have announced that they have been successful in jailbreaking into the latest PS3 firmware version of 3.42 and 3.50. The hack is enabled using a USB mod that will enable users to install unapproved software and games to their PlayStation consoles.
If you have jailbroken your PS3 using one of these softwares, it is now also possible to downgrade your system to an older version of the firmware. PSJailbreak have now launched a sister-site called PSDowngrade.com that will assist the user in downgrading their Playstations to an older firmware. The hackers claim that the downgrade process is very easy and intuitive and will take less than a minute to carry out. So there you go.
Until now, you had to be a member of the Sony PlayStation Plus family in order to be able to watch videos from the TV streaming service over your gaming console. No longer; if you are in the United States. Sony has announced that this facility has now been opened up for all PlayStation 3 users in the country and that they do not need to be a PlayStation Plus user to avail the service.
This however does not mean you get to have all of this for free. Users must still sign up for the Hulu Plus subscription that is available at a price of $9.99 per month. So as I see this, the move is a win for Hulu in getting access to more paid members while Sony may now have to focus on other compelling aspects of PSN in order to get members paying up for the premium service.
Sony is coming up with a new look Bluetooth headset for their PS3 console that will give users the ability to conspire gaming strategies with fellow gamers while on their console. The new official Bluetooth headset is an improved version of the earlier headset though it does not come with any drastically new features. Primarily, the headset will still include the same features like dual microphones, USB based automatic pairing with PS3, cradle charger and a mute button. Also, this headset will feature a 30% reduced size and a much sleeker look along with noise-cancelling functionality. You can also engage in three-way calling over mobile phones.
The new official bluetooth headset for Sony PlayStation 3 is compatible on PS 3 firmware of 3.50 and above and will be available on the stores in the coming weeks at a price of $49.99.
Hulu Plus, the $9.99 per month subscription service that lets users watch TV shows online over a variety of internet connected devices is now available for everyone in the United States. The service launched in June of this year and has since then been available on an invitation basis. In a statement, Hulu has noted that the company has scaled up their services sufficiently in order to bring this service to everyone (Catch our earlier coverage of Hulu and Hulu Plus by clicking here).
The announcement also extends the Hulu Plus access to more devices including the Sony PlayStation 3. The subscription service was, until now, only available over the computer, select Samsung televisions, Blu-ray players and iOS devices. Access on more devices like the Roku set-top box and TiVo premiere DVRs is also expected to come from later this year. If you are a Microsoft XBox 360 owner, get ready to watch Hulu from early next year.
Let me start with the usual disclaimer that this is a rumor at this stage and so you will need your salt ready. Sony is apparently bringing the Google TV to its gaming console, the PlayStation 3. According to people “close to the project“, this offering could roll out early spring next year.
What this could mean is that Google TV, that Sony already offers over their Blu-ray players could now also be connected with the gaming console to let users stream television content over their PS3. The PlayStation is already compatible with Hulu and Netflix apps and an integration with Google TV could make the PlayStation a full fledged media and entertainment consumption device. Also, since Google TV is integrated with Android apps, an integration would mean PlayStation users can soon begin accessing their favorite apps like Last.Fm, Facebook and Twitter over their PS3 – something that XBox users have been enjoying for a while.
The integration is also seen as a way to counter Microsoft’s recent announcement to bring U-verse streaming to XBox. Anyway, with the partnership between Sony and Google having grown stronger in recent times with the launch of Google TV, this was quite evidently the next step and was always on the cards.
Sony is expected to make an announcement in this regard soon after the holidays in order to keep their sales afloat post the hot shopping season.
Quite a few movie streaming services have been heading to gaming consoles in recent times thanks to the growing popularity of web streaming via these consoles. The latest in this list is LOVEFiLM, the popular DVD rentals plus streaming service operating out of London. According to reports on SlashGear, the service may soon be launching on Sony PlayStation 3 to allow these users to stream movies directly from their console on to a television. This service will be integrated with all the other platforms that LOVEFiLM operates upon which means that subscribers will need to only pay the monthly subscription fee between £3.99 and £5.99 for access.
LOVEFiLM is a company that is owned partly by Amazon. Last month, there were speculations that Amazon was looking at a complete acquisition of the UK company in a bid to boost their presence in the UK and Europe market. We have not heard much about it since then.
This is how you update your Sony PS3 to the latest firmware – Ensure you are connected to the internet, go to Systems Menu -> System Updates and download the latest firmware. It is not a big deal anyway. But if you are one of those users who is not tech-savvy enough and wishes for someone who will get it done for you, you may have to pay a $30 premium.
That’s exactly what Best Buy has recently been caught charging. According to some reports, the Geek Squad at a Best Buy store in New York has been selling a 120GB PS3 with the latest 3.50 firmware update at an additional cost of $30. Of course, there are units with the older firmware that do not come with this additional price premium and so the buyer is not entirely obliged to cough up this additional cost. But in any case, this is a pretty huge cost for something as simple as a firmware update which does not show the retail store in positive light.
Sony has issued a new update to their PlayStation 3 Remote Play functionality that will allow users to stream content and control their PS3 from the comfort of their VAIO laptops. The feature has apparently been available in Japan since May this year though it is only now that it is becoming available elsewhere. There is no word on when this feature will becoming internationally though.
The PlayStation Remote Play functionality originally helped PlayStation Portable users to access the Xross Media Bar on their PS 3 to play music, photos, videos and games. With the new service, VAIO users too shall be able to enjoy these services from their laptops.
The service was awaited in the US market for quite a while since the firmware update relating to this feature – version 3.30 was released as early as April of this year. It is not clear what models of VAIO are covered in the latest release though it appears that at least VAIO EA series is covered at the moment.
Sony has released a new firmware version for PlayStation 3. The new firmware 3.50 will offer support to 3D Blu-ray movies on the Sony PS 3 console. The announcement is in line with our revelation last week that the new firmware would release on September 21.
The new firmware will let users play three-dimensional movies on any television set capable of playing 3D content. Apart from 3D support, the new PlayStation firmware also brings enhanced social integration to the console. Developers may integrate their games with Facebook while users can use this integration to have a more social experience on their PS 3. In addition to this, the new firmware also brings a grief reporting function to the console that will let users to send claim reports directly from the XMB for inappropriate messages they receive from other users.
You can check out instructions to download the new firmware by clicking here.
The Sony PlayStation Move was just recently launched and folks at iFixit – the DIY repair company have already published a teardown analysis of the new motion controller from Sony. While the teardown itself makes for an interesting study, one of the more standout revelations is in the way PlayStation Move differs from Wii Remote with respect to the controller location tracking technology.
According to iFixit, the method used on both these consoles is vastly different. The Wii Remote contains an IR sensor. This is used in conjunction with the IR emitters placed near the TV so that the console can detect the movement of the Wii Remote using triangulation methods. The tracking methodology is basically two dimensional.
On the other hand, PlayStation Move tracks three dimensional movement. The PlayStation Eye camera recognizes the X/Y position of the glowing orb on the Move controller to detect two dimensional movement. In addition to this, the relative size of the orb is also tracked in order to measure the third dimension of movement.
In case you are wondering, Microsoft’s motion controller – the upcoming Kinect makes use of a webcam to track movements. Check out a comprehensive study of its technology here.