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PlayStation 3 system software

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PlayStation 3 system software
XMB of PS3.jpg
The XrossMediaBar on PlayStation 3
Developer Sony Computer Entertainment
OS family Unix-like[1]
Working state Current
Source model Closed source
Initial release November 17, 2006; 8 years ago (2006-11-17) (as 1.10)
Latest release 4.76[2] / September 3, 2015; 26 days ago (2015-09-03)
Available in Danish, German, English (United Kingdom), English (United States), Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Finnish, Polish, Swedish, Turkish, Japanese, Korean, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese.[3]
Update method Direct Download
Download to USB
Game Disc
Platforms PlayStation 3
Default user interface XrossMediaBar
Succeeded by PlayStation 4
Official website

The PlayStation 3 system software is the updatable firmware and operating system of the PlayStation 3.

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.

The native operating system of the PlayStation 3 is CellOS, which is believed to be a fork of FreeBSD; TCP/IP stack fingerprinting identifies a PlayStation 3 as running FreeBSD,[4] and the PlayStation 3 is known to contain code from FreeBSD and NetBSD.[1] The 3D computer graphics API software used in the PlayStation 3 is LibGCM and PSGL, based on OpenGL ES and Nvidia's Cg.[5] The PlayStation 3 uses the XrossMediaBar (XMB) as its graphical user interface.

The initial slim PS3s SKU shipped with a unique firmware with new features, also seen in software 3.00.[6]

History of updates

The "initial" release for the PlayStation 3 system software was version 1.10 as appeared on November 11, 2006 in Japan and November 17, 2006 in North America that provided the PlayStation Network services and the Remote Play for the 60 GB model. However, version 1.02 was included with some games. There were a number of updates in the 1.xx versions, which provided new features such as the Account Management, compatibility of USB devices for PlayStation 2 format games, and supports for USB webcams and Bluetooth keyboards and mice. Version 1.80 released on May 24, 2007 added a number of relatively small new features, mostly related to media and videos, such as the ability to upscale standard DVD-Videos to 1080p and to downscale Blu-ray video to 720p. Version 1.90 released on May 24, 2007 further added the Wallpaper feature for the background of XMB and the ability to eject a game disc using the controller, to re-order game icons by format and creation date. This update also forced 24Hz output for Blu-ray over HDMI, which seems to be exciting the owners of certain HDTV sets, and introduced bookmarks and a security function to the web browser.[7] The last version in the 1.xx series was 1.94 released on October 23, 2007 that added support for DualShock 3 controllers.[8]

As with the version 1.xx series, there were a number of versions in the 2.xx and 3.xx series, released between November 8, 2007 and September 20, 2011. There were quite a few noticeable changes, and in version 2.10 alone there were new features such as the additions of the Voice Changer feature with the power to make users sound like a person using a voice changer with five presets over hi and low tones, a new music bitmapping process specifically designed for the PS3 to provide enhanced audio playback, as well as supports for DivX and WMV playback and Blu-ray disc profile 1.1 for picture-in-picture goodness.[9] Version 2.50 released on October 15, 2008 was the update in the 2.xx series that contained the largest number of new features or changes, among them were the support for official PS3 Bluetooth headset, in-game screenshots and Adobe Flash 9.[10] A recovery menu (or safe mode) was also introduced in this version.[11] Later versions in the 2.xx series such as the 2.7x, 2.85 or 2.90 were distributed with the PS3 "slim". Similar to versions such as 2.00, versions such as 3.00, 3.10, 3.30, 3.40 and 3.70 all introduced relatively large number of new features or changes, such as supports for new Dynamic Custom Themes, improvements in the Internet Browser, Trophy enhancements, and a new [Video Editor & Uploader] application.

The most noticeable change in the version 4.00 released on November 30, 2011 was the added support for the PlayStation Vita handheld game consoles. For example, [PS Vita System] has been added as an option under [Remote Play Settings] → [Register Device] and [PS Vita System Application Utility] has been added as a feature under [Game]. With this update, the PlayStation 3 also gained the ability to transfer videos, images, musics, and game data to and from the PlayStation Vita.[12] Version 4.10 released on February 8, 2012 also added improvements to the Internet Browser including some support for HTML5 and its display speed and web page layout accuracy.[13] Later versions in the 4.xx series all made a few changes to the system, mostly to improve the stability and operation quality during the uses of some applications, in addition to adding new features such as displaying closed captions when playing BDs and DVDs and "Check for Update" to the options menu for a game. The PlayStation 3 system software is currently still being updated by Sony.

Withdrawal of update 2.40

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.[14] The issue was addressed in version 2.41 of the system software released on July 8, 2008.[15]

Class action suit filed over update 3.0

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.[16][17][18] 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),"[19] 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.[20][21]

Class action suits filed over update 3.21

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.[22] 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.[23][24] It also elaborates that anyone who does not accept the update can no longer play future games or future Blu-ray movie releases.[25] Later on, two more suits were also filed by other members of the PlayStation 3 community.[26] 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.[27] 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."[28] A fourth lawsuit was filed by Keith Wright and seeks compensation equal to the cost of the console.[29] A fifth lawsuit was filed by Jeffrey Harper and Zachary Kummer which calls for a jury trial.[30] A sixth lawsuit was filed by Johnathon Huber and has quotes from both the EU and US PlayStation blogs.[31]

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.[32] 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.[33] 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.[34] 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.[35] 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.[36] 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.[37]

Withdrawal of update 4.45

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.[38] 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.[39]

Compatible media formats

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.

Image formats: JPEG[a], GIF[b], TIFF, BMP, PNG, MPO

Audio formats: MP3, MP3 Surround, WAV, WMA 9[c], ATRAC[c], Audio CD, SACD[d] (discontinued on newer models),[40] MP4 Audio, MPEG-4 Part 3, AAC / AAC Low Complexity (unprotected)

Video formats: MPEG-1 (MPEG Audio Layer 2), MPEG-2 PS[e] (MPEG2 Audio Layer 2, AAC LC, AC3(Dolby Digital), LPCM), MPEG-2 TS[e] (MPEG2 Audio Layer 2), VC-1[c] (.wmv), AVCHD (.m2ts / .mts), AVI,[41] DivX,[e][f] DivX VOD, XviD[e][f], Motion JPEG (Linear PCM), Motion JPEG (μ-Law), MP4 Video, MP4 via DivX AVI, MP4 SP[g], MP4 AVC / MP4 H.264[h], DVD Video, VOB, BD Video format on Blu-ray Disc and DVD-ROM

See also

Other gaming platforms from Sony:

Other gaming platforms from this generation:

External links

Official PlayStation 3 System Software Update page


  1. ^ a b "Open Source Software used in PlayStation®3". Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Retrieved 2015-01-12. 
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  9. ^ Mike Fahey. "PS3 DivX, Blu-Ray 1.1, Voice Changing With 2.10 Tomorrow". 
  10. ^ Nick de Bruyne. "PS3 2.50 Firmware Update adds Flash support". 
  11. ^ John. "Accessing the PlayStation 3 Recovery Menu". 
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  26. ^ "Sony Sued Again For Removing PS3 Linux Feature". IGN. 2010-05-07. 
  27. ^ "PDF Filing for suit filed by Todd Densmore and Antal Herz" (PDF). IGN. 2010-05-07. 
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  36. ^ "Plaintiff's response to Sony's renewed efforts to dismiss" (PDF). Google Docs. 2011-04-18. 
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  38. ^ "PlayStation 3 update causing console fault, Sony confirms". BBC UK. 2013-06-19. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
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  40. ^ "PS3 SACD FAQ". Retrieved 2007-11-11. 
  41. ^ "PlayStation 3 System Software 2.10 User's Guide – Video – Types of files that can be played". Sony. Retrieved 2007-01-02.