Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has announced the availability of the latest system software for the PlayStation 3, finally taking it into V2.00 territory. To be honest it isn't that great a leap forward, although there is one nice new feature: the ability to turn a PS3 system on and off remotely, using a PlayStation Portable via the Remote Play1 function, allowing for a truly mobile partnership between the two systems.
Assuming, that is, your PSP has firmware version 3.50 (so none of the naughty rolling back of PSP software to allow game 'backups' to be played) and also assuming that you don't mind paying for the remote ability sometime next year. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is being rather coy about the actual pricing, just saying that the service "will be provided free of charge until the end of April, 2008 on a trial basis. The date and method to switch to a pay service and the price will be announced as soon as a decision is made."
The success of the Remote Play1 function does really rather hang upon the cost, it seems to me. However, there is no doubt that it does further cement the bond between PS3 and PSP and has the potential to create a truly global experience. Once turned on in this way, across the Internet via a Wi-fi connection, it is possible to listen to the music, look at the photos and watch the videos saved on the PS3 Hard Disk Drive no matter where you might be physically located in the world.
Other new features in the V2.00 software include the creation of personalised playlists in both the music and photo sections in order to give users an opportunity to create unlimited music playlists for all occasions, as well as sharing favourite photos in glorious high definition. Continuing with the idea of a personalised PS3, there is also the customisation of the XMB (XrossMediaBar) menu screen. It is, at long last, now possible to change the colour and brightness without hassle and even have something completely different by setting a custom theme. There's also the inclusion of a new PlayStation Network category and logo for easier navigation as well as Trend Micro Web Security designed to give parents peace of mind.