Even though Sony has said time and time again there are no plans for a New Xbox Experience-esque overhaul of the interface for PlayStation 3, that doesn't mean the company wasn't working on tweaks. As part of their deluge of GamesCom 2009 announcements, Sony announced firmware update 3.0 and PlayStation Blog has a walkthrough and detailed breakdown of the changes coming.
No launch date for firmware 3.0 has been announced, but Sony promises it's coming "soon." Above, you'll find a video walkthrough of the new features and below, we have Sony's official list of features for 3.0, including a new status indicator, a new information board that pops up when the machine is turned on, premium avatar content (hurrah for buying things!) and more.
- “What’s New” – The “Information Board” will be replaced with a “What’s New” section, which allows you to enjoy interactive PlayStation news every time you start the PS3 system. Located under the PlayStation Network icon, “What’s New” displays the latest and greatest game, video, PlayStation Network and PlayStation news and releases, as well as your recently played games, in a sleek, new animated format.
- Status Indicator – In the top right corner we’ve added an indicator bar, which displays your user icon, friend icon, the number of friends you have online and a small message icon to let you know if you have any new messages. The indicator also includes a scrolling ticker that features the latest news from PlayStation Network. In addition, when you press the PS button, the battery life indicator will no longer cover up the clock.
- Friends List – Now your PlayStation Network friends will appear in a slightly redesigned format on your Friends List. Also, messages will now be viewable from each of your friends’ respective profiles.
- PlayStation Store Shortcuts – We’ve added a handy shortcut icon to the PlayStation Store under both the Game and Video categories so you can access the latest content quickly and easily.
- Personalization – Personalize your PS3 with new dynamic custom themes and avatars. Dynamic themes as well as free and premium avatars will be available through PlayStation Store. A dynamic theme takes your screen to a whole new level as it incorporates animated objects into the background.
- Trophies – Showcasing your hard earned trophies just got better. Update 3.00 gives game developers the ability to modify how they display trophies for add-on content. Base and add-on game trophies will continue to be combined into a single list so you can see where you stand in a game as a whole. Within that list, trophies will be broken out into subcategories—base trophies and add-on trophies—that way, you can easily view the percentage of your base game trophy collection, and separately track your trophy progress in add-on packs. Look for this enhancement to be included in upcoming games.