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That was quick – Firmware 2.4

posted on July 2nd, 2008 by christian
Now Playing: Contra 4

The much awaited 2.4 update to the PS3 is out, and with it comes nearly all of the remaining features that are already available on the Xbox 360. In game XMB, Trophies, and partial custom soundtracks are all here now, making the PS3 that much more of a complete package.

Many have considered this a major trump card for Sony, claiming that they now offer everything that Microsoft does at no cost to the consumer. This is true only to an extent: features like achievements, custom soundtracks and an in-game system menu are offered to all 360 users. Nothing in 2.4 is reserved to Xbox Live Gold members, and so this is really Sony catching up with some of Microsoft’s basic features.

I recently chalked this up to the fact that Microsoft has spent so much time and money on Live, but if you think about it, most of Live’s features have been a part of PSN for a while now. Why it took Sony so long is beyond me, and while I am glad these changes have come around right when I bought a PS3, I must remind myself that for these were missing for the last two years. Only so many kudos can be granted.

At the very least it will be interesting to see what happens in the future. Xbox Live is looking less and less reasonable as a pay service (or perhaps PSN needs to start charging), and rumors abound that the 360 will soon be blessed with a major interface overhaul. This would make sense, and if the rumor does come true then it will help MS reestablish their dominance as the best online console experience.

I wouldn’t be surprised if future updates also added more features to make Live Gold a more enticing offer. As good as Microsoft’s position is, they are not about to lie down for Sony. Something tells me that this competition is indeed going to bring good things.

Update: Son of a bitch, firmware 2.40 is breaking things good. It looks like the crashes are caused by certain save data on individual consoles becoming corrupted. I know that mine booted up to the main menu just fine this morning, though I barely have anything on the harddrive that could be corrupted. I’ll let you know if things go wrong when I test it again.

7 Comments

  1. Wesley said on July 3, 2008:

    The link I clicked to read this article was “I got served!”

  2. TrueTallus said on July 6, 2008:

    As another question on PS3 functionality, Christian, do you know if pictures can be directly stored and accessed on the system, like the PSP? It’s bugged me for a while now that I can’t save that kind of media to my 360 (beyond the entirely lame “solution” of saving them as a theme). Good to know that 2.4 adds so much stuff I’ve come to expect from a console (when the update finally works, at any rate), but if the PS3 has half the weird extras it’s portable counterpart comes with, it may well already be in a league of it’s own.

  3. Matt said on July 7, 2008:

    TrueTallus, the PS3 does indeed let you store photos on the HDD. You simply link up with a memory card, be it Memory Stick, SD Card, or Compact Flash, or even your PSP through a USB cord, and copy/paste your files. I went ahead and put 3 weezer albums on my PS3 through my PSP’s Memory Stick. I’m sure this can also be done with videos as well. The PS3 also has the ability to stream data from a PC, but I don’t believe you can copy/paste through that, much like the 360.

    And yeah, although this firmware is great (mine works fine still), it took Sony 2 years and hundreds of blog comments to actually go ahead and do it. If people didn’t demand it, I don’t think Sony would have ever done it. So I have to wonder if this is just to make their consumers content, appeasing their demands instead of actually competing with Microsoft. And while Msoft does have the best online service, I will never pay for it again, as $50 does not equal those services in my mind. If Sony can do it for free, albeit a little rough around the edges, Msoft could either reduce the fee or get rid of it altogether. And I’m sure the only reason why people continue to pay for it is because you have to go through so many hoops to actually cancel the damn thing. People just become lazy and deal with it. Which I guess is smart of Msoft, in a douchebaggery sort of way:)

  4. Christian said on July 7, 2008:

    Good points Matt. It is almost certain that Sony added these due to demand, but while they should criticized for taking so long, perhaps we could also praise them for actually listening to folks, something that the Sony of old was never great with.

  5. TrueTallus said on July 8, 2008:

    Thanks for the info, Matt. I’m also sort of annoyed with Sony’s typically slow response, though I’m with Christian that them listening to consumers at all is a sign of improvement over the old stance of how happy people should be to pay so much more money for something they don’t care about. It’s turning out nice to be in the late adopter tent of the Playstation camp for once. At this point it’s almost like getting the (Atlus style) special edition PS3- the same great system at a lowered price with more useful functionality and fewer rough edges.

  6. Staticneuron said on July 14, 2008:

    It simple. Sony is not really a software company they are a hardware company. For Microsoft it is the other way around. And boy does it show. But what Sony has been trying to do is at least progressive. You can get mad at them for being slow but you have got to hand it to them, the amount of work it must have taken to get these features in a logical order. How many here think sony’s XMB must be easy to work around? A year after the release of the original xbox the xbox team was rumbling about how to make their next OS more flexible and have better features.

    You are comparing two companies with two different strengths.

  7. Christian said on July 15, 2008:

    “You are comparing two companies with two different strengths.” This is true, but since they are indeed competitors, we have to compare what they offer to the consumer. It is a great point about the company’s strengths, and so far I’d say they’ve each demonstrated their strength rather well. Furthermore, we don’t know how long they have been working on this. It could have been an effort over the last year or more, or at the start of 2008.

    At the very least this won’t be the last update we will see.

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