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3.0 2

Time to be blunt – the launch of the latest and anticipated firmware 3.0 update for the PS3 seemingly hasn’t gone well. Since its launch, reports have already been surfacing about game freezing and controller issues, which has led to unwanted aggravation for some gamers.

These minor issues aside, the update has promised it has a lot to offer, but was it worth the biblically long downloading time?

Firing up your system will reveal the first notable change, as the start-up sequence has been updated to the version that graces the newly released PS3 Bulimic. Not much has changed here – the screen still gracefully fades to the XMB as the music, or God’s orchestra as I like to call it, chimes triumphantly and the newly embedded PS3 logo shows its presence. So far, so good.


Unfortunately, it all goes downhill from here upon the realisation that this once clear and clutter free navigation system has been sprinkled with a sickly sparkling effect. Swarms of gimmicky glitter litter the background and foreground area, but thankfully they can be terminated – I swiftly obliged. Sadly, this is just one of the new features that led me to think “why oh why did they do that?”

There are some improvements to the revamped interface, such as the new status indicator which places vital information, including the number of friends online and any impending messages, into one orderly spot in the right hand corner. Mercifully, the infamous battery level glitch has even been fixed and a handful of other minor tweaks are in place, such as a shortcut for BBC iPlayer and the ability to intuitively fast forward videos by using the analogue stick.

Unfortunately however, this is subsided by the fact that the navigation system has had an unforeseen increase in font size, making things distractingly chunky compared to before. It’s quite feasible that this was done for those who still live with a cumbersome 90s television that doesn’t support HD, which is fine, but there is no option to revert the font to its original size for the rest of us. Why oh why did they do that?

The real meat of update is derived from the extraordinarily exciting “what’s new” function, designed to replace the old information board which nobody ever seemed to care for. In fact, it’s so keen to make itself known to you that it glares in your face on start-up by default – I am filled with joy at such a prospect. All it does is present you with the latest happenings in the Playstation world, such as news stories, games, features and even the last game you played, all of which are neatly displayed in an interactive, swirling grid thing with a glossy finish. This is also applied to the Playstation Store, but how lazy would you have to be not to just check the store in full yourself?

The much touted dynamic themes also make their debut here, but sadly they come at a price – yes, Sony actually expect us to part with our cash just to see a smiling Sackboy run across your interface. There are hardly any of these premium themes available either, as we are restricted to the choice of LittleBigPlanet and a free Afrika theme which is exclusive to Japan at the moment, which is hardly a satisfying initial demonstration. These innovative animated themes were potentially the only worthwhile feature to be implemented into 3.0, so it is disappointing that we are having to pay for them, particularly when, if you think about it, the average user probably doesn’t spend an awful amount of time aimlessly lurking around their XMB. Why oh why did they do that?

3.0 3

And then there’s the overhauled friends list. For whatever reason, Sony felt the need to dress your friends with overblown overcoats in the form of garish grey bars that surround every friend’s username and avatar. Before, the friends list was simplistic and sleek, and was a feature that really wasn’t asking to be altered. Now it just looks needlessly tacky and frankly godawful – why oh why did they do that?

The step into the figure of 3.0 should signify an update of major importance and significance, but that really wasn’t the case here. It set out to address things that simply didn’t need tending to and simultaneously made them worse in the process. Hopefully we will soon start to see some interesting dynamic themes up for download in the future, but in the meantime it would be nice if Sony could kindly give us the option to revert some of these changes on demand.

Oh, and please leave Uncharted alone!

  1. avatar j

    Well it does some improvements like faster trophy synching and more accurate trophy completion percentage. If you look at your trophies, all the percentages should have gone up slightly

  2. avatar Razmossis

    Are you saying that if I was to put my foot up your ass you wouldn’t complain… because it’s free? Retard

    The friendslist looks god awful.
    The font size is uncalled for.
    The spamming of PS Store links is offensive to the XMBs sleek and tidiness.
    And the ‘Whats New’ section is completely pointless, I know what game I was playing last night… I was there. I know Fat Princess is in the Store I bought it two weeks ago, plus I check it every Thursday.
    The linking to interviews is kinda cool, but the fact that its just links to web pages makes it seem kinda cheap, plus N4G probably had it a week earlier.

    Everything else is great, but its is FAR from a ‘major’ update

  3. avatar rob

    interesting opinion article, but i completely disagree. i dont midn the larger font, i actualy like the sparkles, though i usually stick with a custom theme anyways, like currently i have the batman theme. in the settings you can make it so “whats new” does not pop up on launch. the dynamic themes are still a great idea, even if the ones available right now are limited, and OF COURSE they cost money, what did you except, they cost money to develop, handing them out for free would be an expensive endeavor. if you expected them to be free, well thats just silly. and last but not least, the friends list. well sure, its ugly right now, but i will bet you anything yin the world that they use that space for custom tags or trophy cards, or something. i think they got it all planned out, but could not finish it in time for the release of the slim, so they just put the blocks in there as stand ins for the future support of gamer card type things. hell maybe thats what they are talking about when they said premium avatars. just a theory anyways.

  4. avatar james

    3.0 was a big let down

  5. avatar Dan

    Wow, everyone needs to stop bitching…

    It seems that whenever sony gives an update all you do is complain on how it wasn’t enough or it wasn’t needed or it’s about time.

    The media ticks me off.

    Why is is all you ‘journalists’ can do is complain about sony?

    • avatar Akew

      thatdarncat / January 10, 2006, 12:20 AMWho knows? Probably some adults who haven’t exlatcy grown up yet, and sit around all day thinking up random things to say to the benefit of our viewing pleasure. :-)

  6. avatar Dane Cook

    Well I like the update… *DONT HIT ME*!!!

  7. avatar Jim Lahey

    do you know what a shitberomiter is? it gives the measure of shit pressure in the air. can you feel it? the winds of shit are upon us. 3.0 is a perfect example… all we needed was cross-game chat… that’s it.

  8. avatar Jim Lahey

    …and xmb party system.

    shit apples.

  9. avatar Jay Carter

    @Bill Gates
    wow easy lad, no need for that. forget Razmossis, he’s a douche bag anyway.

    • avatar Fendy

      Hi Bani.Is there anyway I can buy this from the us? I don’t know japaeneps, buy if i know someone that knows japaness, can I buy it? do you know? I really want the calander.TY shevy

  10. Wow! A lot of hostility here.

    I enjoy the quicker loading screens from 3.0, but all in all, I think what I ended up getting was Ad.0, with a giant “what’s new [that you can buy!]” splash screen.

  11. avatar MattC

    i find this article stupid. I dont find nothing wrong with friends list i love what they did. Its different..

  12. avatar Magic Carpet

    This new amazing firmware is retard-proof, and if you are by any chance a retard, then chances are you’d right about its disturbing looks.

    Why oh why are you a retard?

  13. avatar Aus

    Whatever you sook. I like the update.

  14. avatar Josh

    Couldn’t agree with the article more!

  15. avatar name

    wow and i thought i was picky.
    the only thing i dident like about FW 3.0 was the friends list and the playstation3 logo during game boot. no biggy.
    and its simple if you dont like the dynamic themes DONT USE THEM!
    god i hate it when people bitch about something when they dont have to use it, if they were the only theme you could use than ok but you have a massively varied choice.

  16. avatar Potedude

    I like the sparkles…

  17. avatar Jaron

    god some people are just too picky
    can you just stop complaining and enjoy it?
    are you seriously complaining about the sparkles? my god you just sound like a huge snob

  18. avatar Freaktard

    Peronally i like what they have done in 3.0. Im getting kinda tired of the constant Sony slagging. All the new ‘features’ are cool, and the unmentioned mic echo reduction is a clever and needed touch.
    As for the friends list which you say is ‘overblown overcoats in the form of garish grey bars’, didnt you realize that what you’re seeing its the top of everyone gamercard ? and the big space thats there will more than likely be used to display more stats and info on your freinds at a glance.
    My only one niggle, and it really is minor, is the fact that they still put the email notification on the friends list in front of your friends info, and not on the card itself.. lol

  19. avatar Microsoft

    XBOX LIVE FTW!!!! If u don’t pay for it what do u expect…lolz Sony suck ass!

  20. avatar john doe

    If your going to mention problems it has with controllers or game freezing you need to explain otherwise its meaningless to say cuz who is to say thats true? Anyway i dont see why you dont like the new friends list design, it now shows what your friends are doing without having to hover over them and it shows when they were last on as well.

  21. avatar PS3/360 Fan

    FFS there is nothing wrong at all with the update! and your complaining about people having to pay for a dynamic theme which devs actually had to put time into? god i hope you dont turn your xbox on and find you have to pay for almost every single theme that would otherwise be free on ps3! and if you dont like the sparkles then i suggest that you turn them off in the settings, then…TA DA! problem solved. phew! right back to playing gears!

  22. If I was to apply the same logic as everyone criticising the article, I’d derive two hypocritical points:

    1) Just like the Firmware update, this article is also free to read.

    Does that not give you the right to complain if you dislike or disagree with what’s being said?

    2) You can read another article anytime you like.

    You’re suggesting the author to turn off features he doesn’t like and stop complaining. If you don’t like what the author has said, can you not exit the article and find another to read?

    That said, I have yet to download FW3.0 since I’ve been occupied with assignments and what not. The sparkles look flashy and I have no problems with paying for premium themes. Good on Sony for trying to switch things up.

  23. avatar Randy Phillips

    Sony suck my left testy whilst Nintendo suck my right one.

    Wii has better online than PSN!

    • avatar Murera

      Hi Paul,I noticed that some peploe have mentioned having prints of some of your work, and being a huge fan of your concept art for Surf’s Up, I’d really love to know how I can purchase some prints. Any suggestions? :) Thank you!

  24. avatar LBDz

    This Firmware 3.0 was the worst thing thats happened in the update history of Sony.

    The games are Crashing, Skipping, or just not working, even online for some people. Killzone 2 is one of these games.

    The fonts on my 52″ Sony TV look crap and MASSIVE, compared to the 2.80 Firmware.

    The PS3 clocks ( YES CLOCKS ) is uncalled for, we only need one?

    The Friends list is just crap, and taken up to much space when you have loads of friends, plus it blocks out the background now, where before is was nice and small, plus keeping the background visible. This is just wrong.

    The message indicator ( near clocks ) doesn’t work all the time, as i have received messages, yet this didn’t show new ones had arrived ect.

    When playing music from ex-HD, and you then press the PS3 button and view ( anything ) example being friends, the music stops, and losses your place as well, (( you can’t even play music while play a game??? )).

    And the list goes on and on..

    Sony say..

    ( It Only Does Everything )

    I say..

    ( It Only Does Everything WRONG )

    Wheres the flipping Cross Game Chat Sony ?

    Will we be getting this Sony ?

    Will we be getting something like the XBL’s Party mode Sony ?

    Why will you not ANSWER us Sony ?????

    You say you listen to your community,? Will listen to this…

    You have rushed this firmware and 3.0 hasn’t been checked ( properly ) before you released it onto the public.

    We NEED something for us to talk to friends while playing games on-line and off-line.

    I have ALWAYS bought Sony stuff, i have all consoles made by them also,but after the 3.0 update, i took back my NEW ps3 ( slim ) and had my money returned, sold my 80Gb on e-bay for £140.00, and now keeping my other PS3 for Blu-Ray player, ( AS MY GAMES ARE CRASHING, AND NOT WORKING SINCE THIS UPDATE ).

    Sony, i never thought i would have felt this way about a console you have made, but Sony you = FAIL.

  25. avatar randombullseye

    I think that patches are stupid.

    Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis never needed them.

  26. avatar Lefein

    I love the PS3 and I’ll defend it to the death even when Sony has truly screwed us over. Still it remains to be seen if this firmware from my beloved Sony was indeed a rush job or Sonys attempt to copy as much of the NXE as possible.


    • avatar Naeem

      Thank you, though if Amazon using this video to proomte their Kindle, they owe me money:)You are wrong about the books on Kindle, you can put your own, free conversion software Calibre is available for both PC and Macs to convert many formats to Kindle supported .mobi.The only limitation is DRM books, those are of course only from Amazon, since Kindle does not support Adobe Digital Edition encryption for .epub format, or epub format itself.

  27. avatar help-im-swiss

    you can tell this is on n4g…

  28. avatar nate-dog7

    the update was great

  29. avatar CZert

    I hate being picky, but with the new 3.0 firmware we CANT no longer use XMB while listening to music and that is what hate most!! I thought PS3 is powerful enough to handle both at the same time – playing music + browsing my pictures or the internet… Has anybody else noticed that? WHY OH WHY DID THEY DO THIS?!!

  30. avatar Razmossis

    @ Jay Carter.

    What are you talking about?

  31. avatar evilbananapeople

    i didn’t mind the update and as for the lack of themes their created by the game developers so stfu, bitch at the right people for gods sake

  32. avatar brad01

    i think update 3.0 is good although the friends list looks quite crappy. the sparkels are a cool feature and make it look modern

  33. avatar 360 ForLife

    You get what you pay for… You guys pay nothing for your online experience, so don’t expect nothing…

    In other words you paid zip and got zip…

    It’s funny, some of you guys complaining are the sames ones that use to brag about the fact that Sony’s online gaming was free.

    $50 a year for XBL, more than worth it. And for you cheapos, that’s:
    .96 cents a week, .13 cents per day…

    If you can’t scrape that up, you don’t deserve to play anyway

  34. Sparkles rock, therefore this firmware rocks.

    My logic is flawless so don’t even try to argue. :P

  35. avatar Dirk

    I’ll keep it simple – I don’t like it. The primary purpose of the PS3 is to play video games. If the updates don’t advance that purpose then there is no real point to updates. Sony may WANT the PS3 to be an entertainment hub, but it’s not there yet and I doubt it ever will be.

  36. avatar Excessive_Gamer

    Update was shit it looks like some1 tried to make something cheap look expensive and it just didnt work i wish i could go bk

  37. Some people are overly critical of this update I think. Although I agree that a lot of things about the update bother me as well. I’ll get those out of the way first.

    The friends list is fairly offensive to my eyes and it seems the boxes around take more processor power and thus longer loading time. It just really makes that side of my screen clunky, especially in-game. Remove the GIANT boxes and put some thinner, more subtle boxes on if you want boxes.

    The font size, yeah I figured it was for SDTVs but it would be really easy to let us choose a smaller font as well no?

    Also I’ve noticed some issues with some of my games since the update as well. If I had to guess, I’ll be they left something open in code and its a memory leak.

    As for the other stuff:

    The reason I say people are being too critical is because they aren’t looking at it from a company/business standpoint for Sony.

    Was there not an article not too long ago saying what Sony should do to improve business model for the PS3. Then they try to do that and people get onto them.

    The sparkles, obviously, was to just provide a change and keep things looking fresh. No harm, no foul. It can be turned off via a wallpaper.

    The What’s New and store thing. Lots of people have problems with that but I don’t. I think its funny, people PAY $50 a year for Xbox Live advertisement central but when a free service tries to push their products more, its a sin.

    The bottom line is, advertisement does work. The point of advertisements are to inform of a product and hopefully make an impression. Some people don’t check the store every Thursday, nor do they know they are updated Thursdays.

    believe it or not there’s a lot of gamers out there who don’t read message boards or websites about games because they just play. Anyway, I have no problem with Sony trying to push their products and news onto me, since you do have the option to change that as your loading screen (and my PS3 is only 24/7 anyway).

    Lastly, no one said 3.0 had to provide these incredible features. Typically, Sony has released its biggest features on non .00 updates. From a coder’s perspective, I think the .00 means it is a huge overhaul of the framework to set up the potential for other big features.

  38. By the way, I like the media bar on the top right…now I can see at a glance if I have messages before I have to burn my eyes and look at that awful friends list :)

  39. avatar not important

    For an update like this to be considered 3.0 is a bit of a letdown. Yes they added some things that were really not needed but when it all comes down to is whether or not come the holiday season is if the cross game voice chat and invite ever comes out. Once those two come out im almost sure most people won’t bitch as often

  40. avatar HellzAssassin

    I think the update was allright… the only major problem i have, is with the friends list… it does indeed look like a piece of shit… and a minor complaint… when you click on something on the XMB, the background gets really blurry… but other than those 2 issues… i’m happy with the update… although… the friends list thing is a pretty damn big issue…

  41. avatar 360 ForLife

    @Brandon Jackson

    “The reason I say people are being too critical is because they aren’t looking at it from a company/business standpoint for Sony.”

    Why should they(gamers) look at is from a compnay/business standpoint??? As a gamer, I look at products and services provided by companies like Sony from the perspective of a gamer, not a suit on the board of trustees.

    They need to appeal to gamers and provide to gamers (their market) what gamers want. And they can’t do it in a half ass way which is what this update is.

  42. avatar A_ndy_D_ick

    i find “gods orchestra” annoying but thats just b/c i feel its like the music you’d hear in a movie right b4 the climax but the boot up music just ends at the climax, which should never happen, its gutwrenching. i also don’t like the grey squares on the friends list how ever my system update went quite quickly for me and i’m sure most would disagree w/ me but i kinda enjoyed the delay after obtaining a trophy it was made better b/c the anticipation had time to build b4 the trophy came plus i had time to turn up my tv so the angelic trophy “bing” would be louder

  43. avatar bon

    Long downloading time? It was the fastest update i’ve ever had on PS3!

  44. avatar Domingo

    Whinging and nagging !!!! That’s all I got from this text !!

  45. avatar Jim Lahey


  46. @Jim Lahey
    You win the thread.

  47. avatar Denniss Ps3guy

    Why the hell are you guys complaining so much? O.K. The friends list looks like shit i give you that, but everything else is much sexier. Don’t hate, LOVE!

  48. avatar LBDz

    ((( Denniss Ps3guy

    Why the hell are you guys complaining so much? O.K. The friends list looks like shit i give you that, but everything else is much sexier. )))

    Because SONY have fu**ked the games playing on the console for LOADS of people like myself. So we pay hundreds of pounds for a games console for SONY to release a firmware update that stops games working.

    WAY TO GO !!! SONY = FAIL on this update. and we are stuck with it, until they sort it out, which could be months.

    So people, forget about what your get for free on PSN ect, look at the damage this firmware has done to gaming using the console once you updated 3.0. KillZone 2 crashes, ect ect, WTF !!!

  49. @RuddigerPez

    I beg to differ, but if that’s how you feel about Gamer Limit then you’re entitled to that opinion.

  50. avatar Angel

    jeeez that guitar rip at the beinnigng is MAGICAL. just those few seconds make it my fave kasabian song. in fact my fave song this year.and i think tom looks hot with long hair! sergio is the fittest tho

  51. avatar Sebastian

    Wow!!.. congratulations for your paaicitprtion in this new film.. and we have more than enough seeing one time and other time your last posts.. although if you get the time to post more.. that will be amazing!.. your post “Drawings!” is just great!..

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