Sony shows off PS3 firmware v3.0, comic book reader for PSP announced, PSN Video Store coming soon

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Gamescon is currently under way in Germany and Sony has just revealed the upcoming features for the PS3’s firmware v3.0. Changes to 3.0 are mostly cosmetic, but the PSN Video store will be invading the UK, France, Germany and Spain in November with further expansion in 2010. Those of you in the short list of countries just mentioned will be privy to SD and HD movies for purchase and rent.

Another announcement out of Gamescom reveals that the PSP will be getting a digital comic book reader in November and Marvel is on board to bring “hundreds” of titles to the PlayStation Portable.

The full list of features in 3.0 can be found after the jump.

Hi everyone, PlayStation 3 (PS3) firmware update (v3.00) adds a number of great new features that we’re excited to share with you. The latest update incorporates changes that improve navigation on your PS3. First, you’ll notice some cosmetic changes to the design of the XMB (Xross Media Bar). We’ve enhanced the look and feel of the XMB so that it’s easier and even more intuitive to use. We’ve also added network improvements and personalization options to help enhance your PS3 experience.

Additional highlights from update 3.00 include:

* “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.

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