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; 1 day 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]

Details of updates[edit]

Withdrawal of update 2.40[edit]

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2.40, which included the in-game XMB feature and PlayStation 3 Trophies, was released on July 2, 2008; however, it was withdrawn later the same day because a small number of users were unable to restart their consoles after performing the update.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.[7] The issue was addressed in version 2.41 of the system software released on July 8, 2008.[8]

Class action suit filed over update 3.0[edit]

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.[9][10][11] 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),"[12] 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.[13][14]

Class action suits filed over update 3.21[edit]

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.[15] 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.[16][17] It also elaborates that anyone who does not accept the update can no longer play future games or future Blu-ray movie releases.[18] Later on, two more suits were also filed by other members of the PlayStation 3 community.[19] 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.[20] 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." [21] A fourth lawsuit was filed by Keith Wright and seeks compensation equal to the cost of the console.[22] A fifth lawsuit was filed by Jeffrey Harper and Zachary Kummer which calls for a jury trial.[23] A sixth lawsuit was filed by Johnathon Huber and has quotes from both the EU and US PlayStation blogs.[24]

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.[25] 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.[26] 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.[27] 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.[28] 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.[29] 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.[30]

Withdrawal of update 4.45[edit]

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.[31] 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.[32]

Compatible media formats[edit]

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
Audio formats
Video formats


  • ^ a JPEG files must be DCF 2.0/Exif 2.21 compliant
  • ^ b GIF 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
  • ^ e DivX, 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.[35] DivX 3.11 files are now supported as of version 2.60.[36] 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.
  • ^ g MPEG-4 ASP is as yet unsupported
  • ^ 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.

See also[edit]

Other gaming platforms from Sony:

Other gaming platforms from this generation:

External links[edit]

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. 
  2. ^ "PlayStation®3 System Software Version 4.60; Update Your PS3™ System - PlayStation®". Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  3. ^ "PS3™ | System Language". Sony. 2014-06-13. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  4. ^ "DFRWS 2009 Network Forensics", NETRESEC Network Security Blog, 2011
  5. ^ SONY/Khronos OpenGL ES/PSGL Presentation in PPT format
  6. ^ "PlayStation Games & Media News: – Entertainment on PS3 has a new look". SCEE. 
  7. ^ Seybold, Patrick (2008-07-02). "Firmware v2.40 Status". SCEA. Retrieved 2008-07-12. 
  8. ^ "Sony UK on PS3 problems". SCE UK. 2008-07-08. 
  9. ^ "Sony sued over PS3 update that supposedly bricks consoles". Ars Technica date = 2009-10-06. 
  10. ^ "Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over PS3 Failures". High-Def Digest. 2009-10-06. 
  11. ^ "Sony Software Update Crashes PS3, Class Says". Courthouse News Service date = 2009-10-05. 
  12. ^ "Update on PS3 Firmware 3.00". date = 2009-09-04. 
  13. ^ "Man Files Class Action Against Sony Over Firmware 3.0 Problems". Gamasutra. 2009-10-05. 
  14. ^ "Lawsuit Filed Over PS3 Firmware 3.0 Problems". IGN. 2009-10-06. 
  15. ^ "Filing for class action lawsuit over 3.21 from Justia by Anthony Ventura". Justia. 2010-04-27. 
  16. ^ "Man Files class action lawsuit over Other OS support removal". Joystiq. 2010-04-30. 
  17. ^ "PlayStation 3 Owner files class action lawsuit against Sony for dropping 'Other OS'". Kotaku. 2010-04-29. 
  18. ^ "PDF filing for class action lawsuit over 3.21 by Anthony Ventura" (PDF). Google docs. 2011-01-04. 
  19. ^ "Sony Sued Again For Removing PS3 Linux Feature". IGN = 2010-05-07. 
  20. ^ "PDF Filing for suit filed by Todd Densmore and Antal Herz" (PDF). IGN = 2010-05-07. 
  21. ^ "PDF Filing for suite filed by Jason Baker, Sean Bosquett, Paul Graham, and Paul Vannatta over 3.21" (PDF). IGN = 2010-05-07. 
  22. ^ "Sony Hit With Fourth Class Action Lawsuit". IGN = 2010-05-22. 
  23. ^ "PDF Filing for suite filed by Jeffrey Harper and Zachary Kummer over 3.21" (PDF). US Govt = 2010-06-08. 
  24. ^ "PDF Filing for suite filed by Johnathon Huber over 3.21" (PDF). US Govt = 2010-06-08. 
  25. ^ "Sony requests dismissal in Other OS case". IGN UK = 2010-09-20. 
  26. ^ "What's Happening in the Class Action Against Sony About Removing OtherOS?". Groklaw = 2011-02-21. 
  27. ^ "The Sony Class Action's First Amended Complaint, as text". Groklaw = 2011-03-13. 
  28. ^ "SCEA Files Motion to Dismiss Class Action Again, More Discovery Disputes, Plus a Revealing Transcript Surfaces - Update". Groklaw = 2011-04-03. 
  29. ^ "Plaintiff's response to Sony's renewed efforts to dismiss" (PDF). Google Docs = 2011-04-18. 
  30. ^ "Sony Tosses PlayStation 3 Upgrade Claims Aside". Courthouse News Service = 2011-12-09. 
  31. ^ "PlayStation 3 update causing console fault, Sony confirms". BBC UK. 2013-06-19. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  32. ^ Futter, Mike (June 21, 2013). "Sony Reissuing PS3 Update 4.45 After Earlier Issues". GameInformer. GameStop. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  33. ^ "PS3 SACD FAQ". Retrieved 2007-11-11. 
  34. ^ "PlayStation 3 System Software 2.10 User's Guide – Video – Types of files that can be played". Sony. Retrieved 2007-01-02. 
  35. ^ "Movie and video file formats supported by the PLAYSTATION3 computer entertainment system". Sony. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  36. ^ "Upcoming PS3 Firmware (v2.60) Update". PlayStation.Blog. Retrieved 2009-01-21.