The process of updating is almost identical to that of the PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation 4. The software may be updated by downloading the update directly on the PlayStation 3, downloading it from the user's local Official PlayStation website to a PC and using a USB storage device to transfer it to the PlayStation 3, or installing the update from game discs containing update data.
"Check for Update" has been added to the options menu for a game (by pressing Triangle). Similar to the PS4, PSP and Vita, game title updates can now be manually checked when your system is connected to the internet.
"Intellectual Property Notices" has been added to the options menu for a game.
Closed Captions are now supported for the play back of Blu-ray Disc titles and DVDs. To display Closed Captions select [Settings] > [Video Settings] > [Closed Captions].
The style used for Closed Captions such as Font, Size, Color can now be adjusted.
Wireless pairing is now supported for the DualShock 4 wireless controller.
You can now set the group of players who can see your trophies under [PSN] > [Account Management] > [Privacy Settings]. You can also specify for each game whether to show trophies.
The PS3 system can now perform the following operations when you set [Settings] > [System Settings] > [Automatic Update] to [On], even if you do not subscribe to PlayStation Plus. When this setting is [On], the PS3 system will automatically start each day at the specified time and perform these operations before turning off:
Download content items purchased with other devices
Trophies have been moved to the [PlayStation Network] category.
Trophies earned on the PS Vita system can now be seen on PlayStation 3.
[Life with PlayStation] is no longer available for download in conjunction with the end of the Folding@home service for the PlayStation 3. However, it will still operate until November 2012 if already present on the system.
[Trophy Collection] has been split into two modes.
[Online Mode] displays the trophies currently synchronized to the server, including trophies earned on PS Vita.
[Offline Mode] displays the trophies currently saved on the user's system, excluding trophies earned on PS Vita.
'Owner', which is shown in the options menu of purchased content has been changed to 'Buyer'.
Allows trophies to be sorted by [All] or [Core Game/Add-On] under [Group Content] by games that support it.
[SingStar] is now available under the [Game] category for all European countries as well as Australia, New Zealand and The Middle East.
Users can now set the amount of time that the system will wait before turning itself off automatically for [Video/TV/Music/Photo] and for [Game/Other Features]. The default setting is one hour.
Under [Date and Time Settings] → [Time Zone], Samoa Islands has been changed to American Samoa and Independent State of Samoa.
The encryption key has been renewed for AACS, the copy protection system for Blu-ray Disc video content.
Users can now select multiple saved game data files to copy or delete.
The sidetoning feature of the Wireless Stereo Headset, introduced in system software update 4.10, has been improved: users can now select one out of five microphone levels, or turn the feature off completely.
Virtual surround sound functionality has been added to the Wireless Stereo Headset when viewing Blu-ray or DVD movies.
The [Eject Disc] function has been renamed to [Remove Disc].
[Hard Disk] has been renamed to [System Storage].
When a message with no subject is received, that message's subject line now displays the entire text from the message.
Users are now only asked once per session if they want to run plugins when using the [Internet Browser].
4.11 02012-02-15-0000February 15, 2012 Optional for USA and Canada.
Under Section 18 Users must agree to abdicate the ability to participate in class action lawsuits against Sony. Failure to agree to this alteration of terms will result in users inability to access any purchased content digitally distributed through PSN and eventually physical disc games became unusable as their development required firmware updates more recent than 3.72 firmware that also includes provision laid out by section 18 in the September 2011 mandatory firmware update.
System stability during use of PS3 format software and network services has been improved.
Allows PlayStation Plus subscribers to store up to 150 MB or 1000 game save data files (whichever comes first) online. This includes 'copy-prohibited game data'. Such data is restorable once every 24 hours.
Now allows a choice of 10, 20, or 30 minute power save feature for automatically turning off controller.
3.56 02011-01-26-0000January 26, 2011 Reissued February 1, 2011
System security has been improved.
Added an Ipla TV channel under [TV] for Poland.
Downloaded demos are no longer collapsed in a folder.
System changes (reissued version)
Initially caused issues (like in 3.41) when upgrading the hard disk with this firmware on some systems. A semi-fix has been published. Fix will only work if user still has the original unformatted hard drive. Users who don't have the old hard drive or have formatted it are not able to install system software.
3.41 02010-07-26-0000July 26, 2010 Reissued August 2, 2010
The update prepares for the "You May Like" feature on the PlayStation Store which offers game recommendations while browsing, based on games that other users purchased.
Enables incremental software patching allowing future system software updates to be applied without having to download and reinstall the whole firmware.
System changes (reissued version)
Initially caused issues when upgrading the hard disk with this firmware on some systems. This was fixed with an updated version of the firmware with the same version number on August the 2nd and small patch has been made for those who already installed new firmware.
Power Save Settings now defaults to two hours for auto-shutoff.
[Automatic Download] has been added as an option on the [Settings] menu for PlayStation Plus subscribers allowing them to set a period of two hours to allow PS3 patches and updates to be downloaded.
[Deep Colour Output (HDMI)] has been added as an option under [Display Settings].
[Calibrate Motion Controller] has been added as an option under [Accessory Settings] in preparation for PlayStation Move.
Users can now purchase subscriptions for PlayStation Plus and receive features granted by the service.
Users can now rate content on the PlayStation Store on a five-star scale.
The PSN Store A-Z section now contains section categories including add-Ons, demos, PSP games, etc.
The respective user's Trophy level is now displayed next to the user's ID on the [Friends] list.
The colours of your Friend’s boxes fade in, rather than ‘jumping’ from the normal grey.
A PlayStation Plus icon is now displayed next to PlayStation Plus subscribers on the [Friends] list.
The sender's username is now shown in the corner of the screen when viewing a list of messages from one user.
The [Photo Gallery] application now allows users to upload photos to Picasa and Facebook, as well as browse and comment on photos, and print them using a connected printer (requires additional download).
A new [Video Editor & Uploader] application allows users to edit, save, and upload video files stored on the system (after the 3.40 update) to services such as Facebook or YouTube (requires additional download).
The internal clock functionality that accounts for leap years has been updated.
Added NOS catch-up TV website shortcut for users in the Netherlands under [TV].
Added AXN and Animax catch-up TV website shortcuts for users in Czech, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia under [TV].
Added TVNZ catch-up TV website shortcut for users in New Zealand under [TV]
Added RTÉ player for Ireland PS3 users under TV icon on XMB shortcut to website.
Added PlayStation Video Store for users in UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
Added Cinavia Copy protection system, a Digital Watermark added to the audio tracks of future select Blu-ray, DVD, and Movie Cinemas.
[About] now displays the new PlayStation 3 logo when choosing a game.
Added the option to automatically send updates to the user's Facebook profile when Trophies are unlocked; when items are downloaded from the PlayStation Store; or for in-game events (in compatible games).
The [Friends] list boxes only appear upon highlight, however, users' "currently playing" game and avatar box are always visible.
The user is now able to change the colour of their [Profile].
Initial firmware for CECH-2000 series.
This firmware is only available pre-installed on PS3 Slim models and cannot be downloaded. The version number is dependent on the PS3's region.
[Install Other OS] and [Default System] have been removed (PS3 slim units only).
The "PLAYSTATION 3" logo is no longer displayed before starting a PS3 game.
New system startup, featuring new PS3 logo, the PlayStation family logo and a new startup sound.
BRAVIA Sync allowing control of the XMB by BRAVIA TV remote control (PS3 slim units only).
June 24, 2009 Optional, but required for Vidzone
Message size in the [Text Chat] utility has been increased from 32 to 64 characters.
Improves the playback quality of some PS3 format software.
Third party peripherals plugged in via USB, are now assigned to controller port 7.
Closed a vulnerability which allowed the use of Open Remote Play, a homebrew application used to allow Remote Play connections to the PS3 from devices other than the PSP. Remote Play remains available for PSPs using custom firmware.
Copy-protected videos purchased from the PlayStation Store can now be backed up to an external storage device and then restored to PS3’s internal hard drive for playback.
Videos purchased for the PSP can now be transferred to the PS3 for playback.
A [Dynamic Normalizer] option has been added as an option under [Music Settings] in the [Settings] menu.
Added [Internet Search] function to items on the [Games] menu for PlayStation 3 format software. Selecting the option launches the internet browser and performs a Google search on the item's title.
Added the ability to copy and paste text from a web page viewed in the internet browser.
[Browser Security] has been added as an option to the browse mode menu of the Internet browser. The websites for the Web filtering services that used to be listed under [Bookmarks] have been moved under this new option.
[Copy Address of This Page] and [Copy Address of This Link] have been added as options under [File] in the browse mode menu of the Internet browser.
Ability to sort the [Friends] list via users' online status and the time they were last online.
On the [Friends] menu, new friend requests are now displayed at the top of the list.
The file size limit for message attachments has been increased from 1 MB to 3 MB.
When downloading a file, an estimate of how long the download will take is now displayed.
Polish, Greek, Czech, Slovak, and Turkish text can now be displayed in the Internet browser.
A [Text Chat] feature has been added that enables the user to create or join a chat room with up to 15 other PlayStation Network users and communicate using the on-screen keyboard or a compatible keyboard peripheral. This feature is available both in game and not in-game.
Fixed an issue where 2-channel music files were output to multi-channel audio systems on multiple channels with the extra channels muted.
The PS3 and/or wireless controllers can now be set to turn off automatically after a set period of inactivity.
The PS3 can be set to automatically turn off after a background download or installation of content has completed.
The [BD/DVD Settings] option under [Settings] has been renamed to [Video Settings]
The [Cinema Conversion] and [Upscale] options under [Video Settings] have been renamed to [BD/DVD Cinema Conversion] and [BD/DVD Upscaler].
[50 Hz Video Output] has been added as an option under [Video Settings].
[DivX VOD Registration Code] has been added under [System Settings]. This code can be used to register the PS3 to be able to play DivX VOD files.
The method for reconnecting bluetooth devices has been modified.
[German Keyboard (Switzerland)], [French Keyboard (Canada)] and [French Keyboard (Switzerland)] have been added as options under [Accessory Settings] > [Keyboard Type].
A scene-search feature similar to the version on the PSP has been added. This feature allows a video or PlayTV recordings to be broken up into 15, or 30-second; one, two, or five-minute intervals, which can then be accessed quickly.
The option to have videos under the [Video] section of the XMB home menu play in sequence has been added.
A [Mosquito Noise Reduction] setting has been added which reduces noise on videos saved on the console's hard drive or external storage media.
Volume control now has nine levels instead of five.
A pause button has been added to the mini music control panel on the XMB.
Frame Conversion has now been removed for MPEG-4 videos. Anything other than 50 Hz will now be displayed in NTSC, showing up in black and white on legacy PAL systems that are incompatible with the NTSC video standard.
Pressing the PS button during a video now pauses the video, rather than continuing playing it.
In-game Screenshots, which allows screenshots to be taken while playing a game, has been added. This feature will be supported on a game by game basis.
[Sync with Server] has been added as an option under [Trophy Collection].
The [Settings and Connection Status List] option under [Network Settings] can now be viewed on the In-game XMB menu in some PS3 games.
The PlayStation Network Sign-Up and Account Management utilities have been redesigned.
The method of disabling the automatic sign-in option and the way to sign out from PlayStation Network have been modified.
Information has been added below the avatars of offline Friends in the Friends list indicating how long it has been since they were online.
Users are now able to use several interactive features such as downloadable video content, ring tones and interactive movie-based games, with Profile 2.0-compatible Blu-ray Discs. The interactive features may vary depending on the disc.
Ability to now play BD-R version 1.2 (LTH* BD-R) discs.
LTH, or low to high, is a recording method that supports organic dye, write-once BD-R media.
Ability to change some PS3 system settings during remote play.
[Save Target] has been added as an option under [File] in the browse mode menu of the Internet browser. This option adds the capability save a file that is linked from a Web page, such as an image or video file, or other type of file, to your PS3 system's hard disk drive or storage media.
The Internet browser now displays some Web pages faster.
Using the Internet browser, it is possible to play a linked video file as it is being downloaded (Some types of video files cannot be viewed in this manner and must be downloaded completely before playback).
System software version 2.40, which included the in-game XMB feature and PlayStation 3 Trophies, was released on July 2, 2008; however, it was withdrawn later the same day because a small number of users were unable to restart their consoles after performing the update. The fault was explained to have been because of certain system administrative data being contained in the HDD. The issue was addressed in version 2.41 of the system software released on July 8, 2008.
System software version 3.0 was released on September 1, 2009. Shortly after its release, a number of users complained that the system update caused their system's Blu-ray drive to malfunction. In addition, John Kennedy of Florida filed a class action suit against Sony Computer Entertainment America. John Kennedy had purchased a PlayStation 3 in January 2009, claiming it worked perfectly until he installed the required firmware update 3.0, at which point the Blu-ray drive in his system ceased functioning properly. Sony later released a statement, "SCEA is aware of reports that PS3 owners are experiencing isolated issues with their PS3 system since installing the most recent system software update (v3.00)," and released software update 3.01 on September 15, 2009. However, after installing 3.01, the plaintiff alleged the problems were not only not solved, but the new update created new issues as well.
Due to the removal of the "OtherOS" feature from older models of the PS3 due to security issues (possibly related to the exploit released by geohot) which caused an uproar in the PlayStation community, several lawsuits have been filed. The first one was filed on behalf of PS3 owners by Anthony Ventura. The suit states that removing the feature constitutes breach of contract, false advertising and a handful of other business practices relating to consumer protection laws as the feature was touted by Sony when these systems were new as a way consumers could turn their machines into a basic PC and cites that the feature was "extremely valuable" and one of the main reasons that many people paid more for the PS3 over buying a competing console like a Wii or an Xbox 360. It also elaborates that anyone who does not accept the update can no longer play future games or future Blu-ray movie releases. Later on, two more suits were also filed by other members of the PlayStation 3 community. The first of these newer lawsuits was filed by Todd Densmore and Antal Herz which claim Sony has rendered several PlayStation 3 features they paid for "inoperable" as a result of the release of firmware 3.21. The second filed was by Jason Baker, Sean Bosquett, Paul Graham, and Paul Vannatta, and claims, among other things, that they "lost money by purchasing a PS3 without receiving the benefit of their bargain because the product is not what it was claimed to be - a game console that would provide both the Other OS feature and gaming functions."  A fourth lawsuit was filed by Keith Wright and seeks compensation equal to the cost of the console. A fifth lawsuit was filed by Jeffrey Harper and Zachary Kummer which calls for a jury trial. A sixth lawsuit was filed by Johnathon Huber and has quotes from both the EU and US PlayStation blogs.
Sony responded to the lawsuits by requesting a dismissal on the grounds that "no one cared about the feature" and that the filings cite quotes from 3rd party websites, the instruction manual, the PlayStation Web site and claims they are invalid proof and that Sony can disable PSN and the other advertised features (playing games that require newer firmware, etc.) as they wish. The lawyers for the plaintiffs are reviewing the request and say that this is fairly common at this stage of the game and that the case will be reviewed before a judge in November 2010. In February 2011 all claims of false advertising in the case were dismissed but the plaintiffs were allowed to appeal and amend the case and the other claims that the removal violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse act were allowed to go forward. In March 2011 the plaintiffs amended their complaint to refute Sony's claims that it was within its rights under the TOS and warranty to remove the feature adding more details to their claims including breach of warranty, breach of implied warranty, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and breach of several California unfair business practices laws. In April 2011 SCEA again asked that the case be dismissed and made claims that the plaintiffs refiled claim was insufficient and that they were hackers and wanted to violate Sony's IP and asked the judge to grant search rights on their PS3 systems. SCEA also made claims that they are not the division solely responsible for the removal and should not be held responsible despite conflicting information to the contrary. On April 18, 2011 the plaintiffs fired back at Sony's renewed efforts to get the case dismissed by pointing out the fact that Sony had made many of the same claims before and they had been dismissed by the court and also pointing out several legal precedents under California law that refute Sony's claims. Finally in December 2011 the whole case was dismissed under the grounds that the plaintiffs failed to prove that they could expect the "Other OS" feature beyond the warranty of the machine.
System software version 4.45 was released on June 18, 2013; however, it was withdrawn one day later because a small number of users were unable to restart their consoles after performing the update. On June 21, 2013, Morgan Haro, a Community Manager for PlayStation Network, announced that the issue had been identified and a new update is planned to be released on June 27, 2013 to resolve the issue.
The PlayStation 3 is capable of photo, audio, and video playback in a variety of formats. It also includes various photo slideshow options and several music visualizations. The following lists the photo, audio, and video formats that are supported on the PS3.
^bGIF images that display motion do not exhibit motion if viewed from the PS3's hard disk drive. Motion GIF images can be viewed in motion only online on a webpage, via the PS3's web browser.
^c WMA/VC-1 and ATRAC playback must be manually enabled in [System Settings].
^d SACD is only available in 20 GB, 60 GB, Motorstorm 80 GB bundle, and MGS4 80 GB bundle versions
^eDivX, XviD, 3ivx and other MPEG-4 Part 2 codec implementations work with a simple import into MP4. Xvid files are recognised as MPEG-4 since system software update 2.20, before this update they were recognised as DivX files.
^f DivX video files that are copy protected are not playable on the PS3. DivX 3.11 files are now supported as of version 2.60. Certain DivX and XviD Files have been known to not play on the PS3, even though they are recognised correctly, however deleting the first few black frames from the file with a program such as Nandub can rectify this problem.
^h Main Profile and High Profile MP4 AVC / H.264 are supported.
The Matroska container (.mka / .mkv) is not playable by the PS3 on standard firmware, but programs such as Showtime (for jailbroken ps3's) can use the ps3's default codecs to play back these files. .mkv containers can be quickly converted to a PS3 compatible format for use on all PS3's by using a PC program such as mkv2vob.