As promised, Sony has now released the latest firmware update for the PS3. Version 4.20 finally adds a few notable features aside from the usual security updates, but unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be any major maintenance on that below-par web browser.
Ever since the news broke that Microsoft are looking to bump up the Xbox 360 functionality with an Metro style Internet Explorer 9 browser, PS3 users have been crying out for Sony to make some much needed improvements on their own browser.
Although Sony didn’t mention this in their patch notes, we’ve noticed that the 4.20 update does actually include a few improvements to the web browser, mainly the fact that you won’t be greeted with so many pop-ups any more when trying to view pages that require plugins.
It is by no means a revamp though, as playing simple Flash videos on the browser still remains a painful chore. It would be nice to be able to jump on the PS3 browser and view the daily news and sports videos from the BBC. However, this is still not possible as the videos require a later version of Flash and trying to play the videos just brings up the stressful message ‘The device you are using currently has the latest version of Adobe Flash Player that is available for your browser’.
In other words, Sony is living in the past. Browsing from sites to sites is still very slow and trying to use YouTube on the PS3 browser isn’t exactly ideal either. Sony are in the final stages of bringing a YouTube app to the PS Vita, but how hard would it actually be for the company to provide some simple updates to ensure a smoother experience when wanting to check out the browser?
At the end of the day though, it is nice to see Sony providing some actual features now to their firmware updates, rather than just security updates each time as we mentioned above. Are you bothered about improving the web browser now in the PS3, or are you more interested in waiting for next-gen. We all have our smartphones now after all.