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Sony's Eric Lempel discusses the 1.90 firmware update

Japanese PlayStation 3 owners just received the 1.90 firmware update for their machines. The new firmware provides a few incremental updates and addresses some issues brought up by PS3 owners.

According to Lempel, Sony is making customization a priority with the new firmware update. "You can now personalize the wallpaper on your XMB with a photo. This was one of the top three requests we received via the blog’s contact form," Sony PlayStation Network Operations director Eric Lempel. "When viewing a photo, simply bring up the options screen by pressing the triangle button and selecting 'set as wallpaper' from the options displayed. Additionally, you can now change the order of the games displayed under the game icon on the XMB."

Sony has also included the ability to play AVCHD videos from a MemoryStick or video camera. According to Kotaku, other feature additions include:

  • Option menu now includes "eject disk"
  • Press triangle to eject games/CDs/movies in the XMB
  • XMB backgrounds
  • Change the folder classification
  • Emoticons
  • Change CD output to 44.1/88.2/176.4kHz
  • Force 24Hz output for Blu-ray over HDMI
  • Change PS3 video settings in-game
  • "Bit Mapping" in the "Music Setting"
  • Change settings like upscaling while playing PS and PS2 games
  • Add bookmarks
  • Web browser security function in the browser's tool section
  • Avatar moves during audio visual chat

U.S. customers will receive the update "in the next few days" according to Lempel.

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the evil empire is hard at work
By Quiksel on 7/23/2007 12:54:03 PM , Rating: 5
... listening to their customers.

I have to admit, these firmware updates to the PS3 have been fairly nice and demonstrate Sony's commitment to improve the overall experience to the end user. Kudos/Karma points to the company that listens to their customers and actually do something about it.

For the record, I'm no fanboy, but I do own a PSP (OE firmware, though). ;)


RE: the evil empire is hard at work
By therealnickdanger on 7/23/2007 12:58:22 PM , Rating: 2
They are certainly catching up to the 360 with customization and surpassing it in some ways. I'm not sure what the point of in-game, on-the-fly video settings are for though. Do PS3 owners really switch TVs that often?

RE: the evil empire is hard at work
By aos007 on 7/23/2007 1:08:10 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, these are pretty useful. You should be now able to change the details of upsampling without having to quit/restart the game - which is very useful if you're trying to figure out which one looks the best. Some games support progressive scan and/or widescreen, and the upsampling needs to be set differently for each. This allows you to change it easily, in-game. I just played God of War 2 (PS2 game) last week and it was rather frustrating trying to figure out what looks best (which it turned to be turning off upsampling and playing the game in progressive scan and widescreen and letting the TV upsample) by constantly quitting the game, changing settings and restarting it. But most games do not support progressive scan and those likely look best upsampled.

Also, regarding say dvd upsampling, with the options that are already there, you can change type of upsampling (double resolution or full resolution, etc.) and the level of noise reduction and black level expansion while the DVD is playing.

RE: the evil empire is hard at work
By therealnickdanger on 7/23/2007 1:57:46 PM , Rating: 3
Hmm, I guess that's stuff that I would prefer a high quality device to handle automatically: have the device always operate to the best of its ability no matter the scale. I'm not saying I won't nerd out over it, but it's not that convenient. Props for giving the option though.

By elmikethemike on 7/23/2007 2:20:40 PM , Rating: 1
I see what you're saying, but given the wide array of TVs and the options they themsevles have, it would be almost impossible for any one device to automatically select the right settings. I mean, how's the device going to know what "looks" best.

TG Daily reports this update will be released tomorrow. Keep 'em coming Sony. Since the 1.8 firmware release, the PS3 have become my central media device, and it's only getting better.

RE: the evil empire is hard at work
By aos007 on 7/23/2007 2:37:22 PM , Rating: 2
The thing is, turning on progressive scan in-game option disables the upsampling. I am not sure how well documented this is, so I don't know if many people realize this is how it works (TV showing 480p when switching options should be clue enough). I found out that in God of War 2 I can see interlacing artifacts (e.g. feathering in very fast motion) if the game is set up to render interlaced so I decided to use progressive scan to end up with a better experience.

There is also option to smooth the upsampled image. A lot of people don't like it as it looks blurry - though it does a very good job of reducing jaggies. There's no way for the TV or PS3 to set up things to everyone's liking in every game - for example GoW2 has such a good picture that you may not want to spoil the detail by smoothing it, but for an older game full of jaggies that may be just what the doctor ordered. That's why those options are there. And if they're there for you to fiddle in-game, so much the better.

There is one thing that they didn't handle properly though, and this is where the inconvenience comes in: if a game supports widescreen and you turn it on, then the upsampling settings will work OPPOSITE of what their names say. This is indeed something you don't want to keep changing all the time and I wish they'd fix it.

At least you are able to fix this manually.

RE: the evil empire is hard at work
By therealnickdanger on 7/23/2007 4:13:08 PM , Rating: 5
Not to turn this into a 360vsPS3 debate, but it sounds like something for Sony to work on. With the 360, you just set your resolution and everything is scaled to it with very good upscaling (except DVDs, naturally). That's the benefit of a dedicated hardware scaler.

RE: the evil empire is hard at work
By elmikethemike on 7/23/2007 4:29:03 PM , Rating: 1
That's the thing though. There are no options like that for the 360, so you never what exactly its doing. With the PS3 the options are as clear as day. I wish my 360 would have as many customizable options as the PS3 does. I might actually get some use out of it.

RE: the evil empire is hard at work
By exdeath on 7/23/07, Rating: 0
RE: the evil empire is hard at work
By elmikethemike on 7/23/07, Rating: 0
RE: the evil empire is hard at work
By exdeath on 7/24/2007 10:31:57 AM , Rating: 1
No, I got no hassle 1080p digital bliss. I don't need to downscale or upscale anything, I just run at 1080p all the time and everything looks good, including XBox games (aside from 480p looking like crap on any 720p or 1080p display, that goes for PS2 and Wii as well), DVDs, etc.

I guess if you have a system with no games to play or critique then all you have to do is sit around and wank off to user interface customization and options.

As a PC gamer I am impressed by the 360 so far, and that says a lot because I'm brutal when it comes to smacking down consoles.

I am looking for an excuse to get a PS3 if not for home brew dev alone. I like Cell exactly because it's unconventional and it looks fun to tinker with. But from a business perspective and for making GAMES, identical homogeneous cores with unified memory access model makes much more sense.

I actually think the apparent failure of the PS3 so far is funny, just because I've been growing tired of Sony and their hype; I'm tired of hearing '1000 times faster than a super-computer, etc., especially when they downgrade specs and fail to deliver before launch. I think it's great it's biting them in the ass finally. They think if they releasing anything with silver plastic and blue flashing LEDs that it's 733t and automatically better than anything else, and these days they are riding on name recognition and 733t aZn fanboi 'must have more shiny gadgets than anyone else' fashion queen image.

In the long term I hope it shakes things up and they get their act back together and start making quality products that speak for themselves (like my F500R CRT) instead of catering to the fashion statement crowd.

RE: the evil empire is hard at work
By exdeath on 7/24/2007 10:41:02 AM , Rating: 2
And I got tired of waiting for a Dead Rising co-op patch and that game is the only reason I got a 360, I'm honestly not impressed with any console offerings. Gaming in general has been stagnant lately.

Only reason I even got a 360 is because I happened to casually stumble across Elites in stock at MSRP without some gay bundle where you are forced to pay $200 for a carrying bag, and knowing how rare they are, it was kinda a impulse buy. And I needed one eventually for Dead Rising.

And HDMI is a must since I have a 1080p projector and 37" 1080p PC monitor which both have HDMI. Though honestly 1080p over matched high bandwidth 75 ohm component over a 30 foot run looks just as good as digital, despite the impedance mismatch of the wall jack coupler.

RE: the evil empire is hard at work
By Alexvrb on 7/23/2007 8:59:20 PM , Rating: 3
You don't need as many options with the 360 because it is scaling properly in the first place. You set the resolution to the max your TV can support. It scales - up or down! There's no need to turn off upscaling, because the upscaled image looks great. There's no need to add a blur filter for original Xbox games. They will always look good. Also, the 360 will upscale standard DVDs over VGA and HDMI. Hopefully they'll allow it to upscale over component in the future.

Now, scaling aside, there is aspect ratio. I personally don't like watching my 4:3 video files in 16:9 (on my widescreen). But 360 has the option to change that during playback. I was watching some 4:3 anime (H.264+HE AAC in MP4) over wireless yesterday and made use of that. I left black bars on the left and right, and everything looked great. Some people prefer stretching to 16:9, and it does a really good job of this quality-wise, if stretching 4:3 to 16:9 is your thing.

By Hemipower on 7/24/2007 11:40:24 AM , Rating: 2
When you play PS3 games at 1080p there is no upscaling and the options are useless, even the 720p games are scaled to 1080p just like in the 360, but when you put in the ps2 games is when the options become really necessary. Like the example of god of war 2, the game looks better running at 480p with no upsampling. Remember ps2 games never came past 480p so the options are really handy. If the games where made at 720p like most xbox1 games than everything would work fine.

Also ps2 games were not all made widescreen 16:9, so if you don't like watching tv that way than imagine playing games like that.

Also depending on your tv, some dvd movies look better running their natural 854x480 rather than being upscaled.

RE: the evil empire is hard at work
By walk2k on 7/23/2007 3:35:33 PM , Rating: 3
I hope they give you a way to organize the videos, like creating folders. The XMB style of interface has rather serious limitations when you have too many items under one heading (scrolling forever...)

Just in Time
By SirLucius on 7/23/2007 12:59:52 PM , Rating: 2
It's good to see these updates are coming to the U.S. in "the next few days" since I plan of picking up a PS3 this week. I've been pretty impressed with the way Sony has handled firmware updates so far.

And yes, I have a Wii and a 360, as well as a PSP and DS. That should be a sufficent flame repellant, no?

RE: Just in Time
By supaflydaddyc on 7/23/2007 1:03:33 PM , Rating: 5
It certainly is! If only we had that back in the days when asbestos was used, then we wouldn't have all of these problems in NYC with old steam pipes exploding...

RE: Just in Time
By jacarte8 on 7/23/2007 1:09:43 PM , Rating: 2
I just bought a PS3 thanks to all these firmware updates. Also, if some of you with AMEX cards don't know about, READ UP... I just paid $400 for the PS3. I'm the proud (poor) owner of:

360 Premium
PS3 60gb

RE: Just in Time
By Chaser on 7/23/2007 3:06:15 PM , Rating: 2
Welcome to the PS3! :)

RE: Just in Time
By bhieb on 7/23/2007 1:16:23 PM , Rating: 2
Well not really since it does prove you'll buy anything! Either you have too much money (kudos if so), or too much time (in which case get a girl and go outside they have this thing called the sun now) :)

RE: Just in Time
By SirLucius on 7/23/2007 1:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
Haha, actually, it's just the opposite. I have no money since I'm always buying expensive junk (guitars, computers, miscellaneous tech). As for the girl, sadly she's on the other side of the planet in China right now.

Ps3 getting better and better
By electriple9 on 7/23/2007 4:50:19 PM , Rating: 1
... I wish they made seti to run native on it, like folding, and also some sort of media center. Then I would buy one.

RE: Ps3 getting better and better
By elmikethemike on 7/23/2007 7:05:43 PM , Rating: 1
The way the PS3 handles media is much more intuitive than that of the 360. MS's MediaCenter is clunky and slow. With the PS3 you just use the XMB. You don't have to launch anything other than the media you want to see.

RE: Ps3 getting better and better
By Alexvrb on 7/23/2007 9:03:19 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the way I stream media to the 360 I only need to hop over to video and select PC as a source. A few button punches and I'm streaming video. I'm not connecting to a media center box anyway.

RE: Ps3 getting better and better
By Chaser on 7/23/2007 11:56:07 PM , Rating: 2
Its much more simplified on the PS3 and thats the name of the game :)

By Gul Westfale on 7/23/2007 7:40:04 PM , Rating: 3
Option menu now includes "eject disk"

these are the kind of revolutionary changes that are needed to make the PS3 a success. just like when EA patched the buggy-as-hell CnC3 so people could get names with semi-colons in them... genius.

RE: Wow!
By Gul Westfale on 7/23/2007 7:41:44 PM , Rating: 2
oh, and i'm still waiting for a new PS2 firmware, so i can finally launch ballistic missiles with it.

I am wary about updating
By luhar49 on 7/23/2007 4:09:25 PM , Rating: 2
There has been a outbreak of disc reading problems(PS3 cant read any disc) for PS3s in Singapore. I was one of those hit. They had to replace the BD drive to fix it. The technician who repaired it, suspected it had something to do with system update 1.82 because a lot of PS3 users got this error right after the update(including myself).

That makes me a bit wary about trying another update so soon. I understand Sony's intention is good...but i will be a bit cautious now. Am certainly not going to be an early adopter of an update.

By Mudvillager on 7/24/2007 7:08:57 AM , Rating: 2
What they really need to do is fix the crappy wireless connection.

I can't connect to my router no matter how many times I try. And it's a very compatible office router I'm using. No other devices have any problems what-so-ever with connecting...

And I know for sure that I'm not alone. There are countless threads regarding this in the official PS3 forums.

upcoming version 2.0 firmware makes the PS3.....
By HardwareD00d on 7/23/07, Rating: -1
By DingieM on 7/24/2007 2:27:37 AM , Rating: 2
There has been a outbreak of disc reading problems(PS3 cant read any disc) for PS3s in Singapore. I was one of those hit. They had to replace the BD drive to fix it. The technician who repaired it, suspected it had something to do with system update 1.82 because a lot of PS3 users got this error right after the update(including myself).

That makes me a bit wary about trying another update so soon. I understand Sony's intention is good...but i will be a bit cautious now. Am certainly not going to be an early adopter of an update.

Its easy to spit on the Xbox360 with RROD and disc scratching. Ofcourse the PS3 *cough* doesn't *cough* have any problems whatsoever *cough*

By robinthakur on 7/24/2007 10:05:16 AM , Rating: 1
I'm not sure why you're coughing so much, maybe microsoft have resorted to asbestos to stop the 360 getting so hot that the motherboard melts.

Anyway, the PS3's problems are like a hill of beans compared to the 360's...I own both and the 360 sits mostly unused. I owned the PS3 first before I got the 360, and the 360 is sooo loud and I'm scared to use it in case it breaks :)

Those bitching about the video options on the PS3 purlease, I've had FAR more problems on the 360 with games such as Dead Rising and Lost Planet displaying visual tearing when connected via VGA. 1080p over component is too ghosty to use. Its a pity that there aren't more video *OPTIONS*, like maybe eenable V-Sync, COUGH COUGH.

I don't see how you can make an informed decision on the consoles until you own all three, alot of this fanboyism comes down to jealousy (i.e. PS3 is "expensive" lol) and the fact that you get console exclusives


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