PS3 Firmware 4.0: Next major update discussed

By Daniel Chubb - Oct 3, 2011

Each time we see a minor update to Sony’s PlayStation 3 software we’re met with a bucket load of features that users want, also a few problems different users face with the system. The idea of firmware updates that don’t bring new features, and instead fix security and bug issues will only keep PS3 users happy for so long. So we wanted to look at the future and what PS3 Firmware 4.0 could bring, which will be the next major update.

There are a number of things that could improve the PS3 in my opinion; these include the biggest feature most of us want, which is “Cross Game Chat”. Also the store needs a little redesign and I’m sure a few of you have ideas for the XMB. While they redesign the PS Store, it would be good if Sony could add some PS2 games for users without backwards compatibility.

I’m sure Sony will be adding a lot of Vita features on the next major PS3 update, but many users still want simple things like a black default theme option, or even better a color wheel would be amazing. The web browser also needs some improvements, although some users would like the choice of another browser like Google Chrome.

One of the major issues we’ve seen is with the memory usage and speed of in game XMB, and this can be helped by removing pointless icons and make the whole interface cleaner, although I’m sure others will disagree thinking it is already simple enough. What’s your view?

Use the comments to let us know the most wanted features you have for PS3 update v4.0, and do you think cross game chat is even possible?

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Also See: New PS4 update 5.5 beta test for UK, US

  • Bugvey

    I want an Xbox-PlayStation super console that covers all the features one could ever ask for… ever!

  • I know with the fact the PS3 has been out for 5 years now there’s not much that Sony will change, but for the PS4 i’d like to see: Better xmb, in-game music, cross game chat (would be awesome if it could be skype), better web browser (preferably Chrome), the ability to make your own avatar (but try to make it so it doesn’t end up like black ops were all people do is make penis’s.), i’d like to see functions that don’t later get taken away, maybe a recording feature, a facebook app, real backwards compatibility, safety features so that we can feel safe and don’t have to worry about our info being stole, maybe some better perks for plus members, a built in grill (just kidding about the grill).. I’m sure there’s a lot more stuff other people could think of but that’s what I want. Oh and i’d rather not spend $600 or more this time around.

  • James Johnstone

    And also I agree with The_Newtype please allow us to change our Online ID plus I dont mind paying like £1:00 to change it so sony please do it for us and we will all be happy and crossgame chat and password protected username not psn but the user on the ps3 and i could go on forever

  • Robbie King

    To be able to password protect my system, set a image off the internet as my avatar, better music visualizers, better XMB/ Theme customization, Google Chrome Internet browser, latest flash player, to be able to play music in ALL games. I could go on forever…

  • KiR l LEG3ND

    Its funny cause as a loyal customer of sony for over 8 years…xbox has covered all of the ps3 complaints…i own both systems and by far i have faithfully switched the xbox..worrwhatied about a web browser? what cell phone does not have a better web browser than the ps3’s? Also, if u wanna be that stupid to buy a ps3 for the blu ray then shoot urself…i bought one for my family for 80 dollars…the only thing ps3 is good for would be exclusives of games u cant let go…for me it used to be metal gear…now its only uncharted..and home? Dont even get me started..just go pick up a copy of sims…like i said, i own both nd i dont hate on ps3 but dey have let me down along with the rest of u…it wont hurt to give xbox a try for about a month…

    • I’m not trying to say one system is better then the other or be a fan boy when I say this but, I’ve owned both systems and had both failed on me (ylod & rrod) but still despite Sony’s flaws, I like the PS3 so much better then the Xbox 360. And while 360 does have stuff I really want like, cross game chat, in-game music, and i’m sure some other stuff. I’d still rather play the PS3. I’m not even sure why I love it so much, I can’t say free internet anymore cause i’m a plus member and as you said a blu ray player is cheaper then buying a PS3.. Wait I know why I love it Resistance lol. (Sorry for rambling) Oh also i’d like to add that I owned my 360 (which I got summer of ’06) for about 3 or 4 months before it red ringed, and I owned my day one original 60gb PS3 for 4 years before It yellow lighted.

  • Danakerim

    PS3’s Internet Browser needs a SERIOUS overhaul. I’m not even kidding around it’s such garbage!!!! Also, music playback should be aloud during PS Store browsing. Why must I sit in silence while I’m using the store? Another meager option I would personally enjoy seeing is better control over how to arrange the DLC games, instead of the standard recently played, creation date, etc. I want Rage to not have texture loading issues can you fix that somebody plz?? k thanks <3

  • Yea its a cash grab. I’m boycotting PS store until I get my backwards compatability.

  • Jdonahue79

    Put backwards compatibility on the PS3s that currently don’t have it. It really burns me why I can’t play my PS2 games that I already own on disc, yet I can play them from the PSN.

    • By “currently don’t have it” do you mean all PS3’s. lol, just kidding with you. It did make me mad when they took away backwards compatibility though cause I like most people got rid of my PS2 when I got PS3.

  • Guest

    PS3 needs a YouTube app. Using the browser is a horrible experience. All videos are in 240p and the player is garbage.

  • Hui

    MKV support.
    Region-free DVD playback.
    NTFS support for external USB drives.

  • Anonymous

    Haven’t you heard Daniel, cross game chat isn’t possible on the PS3! Jackass, do some research!
    Google Chrome would be a massive improvement as far as the browser is concerned. An improved in game XMB would be very appreciated. I personally would like to be able to customize the XMB to have the music, game, etc. where I want.

    • Adenicio

      your the jack ass CGC is possible only on the new ps3 hey can add an extra ram but the thing is it wont be fair for thoses who have old model ps3

  • I love the XMB as it is, it’s simple and effective. however in game i think something new that loads faster would be appropiate such as friends list, headset, (music for supported games) chat rooms this wouldnt take hardly any memory and would be easy to navigate then all these whiners may get the xgame chat

  • BigM1998

    Faster in-game menu, cross game chat, and I want the browser to not freeze on me. :/

  • Anonymous

    Allow us to change our PSN network ID.

    That is all.

    • Jygy

      beat me too it

  • How about, while DL’ing a demo, game, DLC…it installs while downloading. I hate to bring up the Xbox and all, but as a dual system owner, DL’s take much less time on the xbox because they install while it’s being DL’ed. I hate the fact the you have to DL a big file that could take 1/2 an hour then you have to wait another 10-15 mins for the game in install. Please join the two so it makes for a much faster DL’ing.

    • Thats because on xbox it downloads the Raw files of the DLC or Demo or what ever it is, on PS3 you download a PKG file and install from that, its adds security so you cant fake it to install something that its not meant to install.
      But i see your point how you want a download and install at the same time like xbox

  • the browser does not need improvement, it needs to be replaced, even ie explorer 6 would do better

  • Give us a fast WORKING REAL browser (Chrome) that will allow us watch live streams, HD videos on YouTube etc. Pandora radio or Google Music (for those with invites) and Weather channel app. Sign in to your PSN account with maybe your Google Account or your Facebook account to connect and find your friends alot faster. Twitter integration. That’s it SONY, make it happened, PLEASE.

  • sony has already stated that cross-game chat is not even possible on the PS3, so please… for the love of god… stop requesting it.  it isn’t going to happen.  ever.  

    • That and it’s not even really needed. People are making it way out to be more then it even is. I think this is a case of ” well they’ve got it! “

    • Flackintosh

      Hmmm not possible huh? Some magical barrier stopping them….

      I’m just saying pretty much my first networking experience was writing a chat function within a game where you could be anywhere and use it, getting a normal chat system is possible on the PS3 and @Bart Man I spend the majority of my time on the PC and to have something on par with teamspeak/ventrilo/mumble/skype or whatever program you like to use on the PS3 would make a massive improvement and make the old xbox argument of “Yeah the PS3 is probably better, but Xbox live is sooo much better” totally invalid.

    • Dan Mills

      Update: A Sony representative reached out to us, saying “Cross-game voice chat was not announced as part of PlayStation Plus.” The feature was not officially announced at E3, however sources familiar with the situation say that this incentive will be announced at a later date. “The new offering provides subscribers features such as frequent discounts on PlayStation Store content, free and exclusive access to select games, full game trials, early invitations to select betas of popular games, and new functionality such as content downloads and updates which will automatically be “pushed” to the PS3 system.”

    • Adenicio

      they can put cross game voice chat on new ps3 they just have to add an extra ram fr it .cause they said it wasnt possible cause it neede an extra ram ,so why just we push sony to bring out new ps3 with that extra RAM

  • Cypher2999

    Make it so when I am streaming content from my pc I don’t always get dlna errors(or whatever they are).
    And cross chat would be great but they already said they can’t do it.

    • Adenicio

      THEY CAN DO IT ON NEW PS3’s it just need a extra ram like putting one on a pc.but if they do many people might be uset cause our old ps3 can cross game voice chat so i guess they want to avoid that

  • Cross-Game Chat is impossible. Not only has Sony said this, but I have studied and found it to be true. PS3 will NOT be able to do Cross-Game Voice Chat.

    On the other hand, PS Vita will have it out of the box…

  • XMB

    we need new XMB SOON 

  • sony even said cross game chat will never come to PS3, as the due to how the xmb is coded it takes to much ram. XD

    • Adenicio

      they ca add an extra ram on new model ps3

    • Thank you, I’ll just like to add that the PS3 is more then capable of adding Cross Game Chat but i’ll explain why they haven’t.

      OK PS3 SPECS, 2 + 256Mb Ram = 512Mb / 1 @ 256Mb XDR Main RAM 3.2GHz is for System & 1 256Mb GDDR3 VRAM 700Mhz is for Video

      8 Cores with 1 Main CPU = 9 Cores at 3.2Ghz = 28.8Ghz total CPU / GPU 550Mhz…

      Xbox360 SPECS, 1 + 512Mb GDDR3 @ 700Mhz Shared / 2 Cores with 1 Main CPU = 3 Cores at 3.2Ghz = 9.6Ghz Total CPU / GPU 500Mhz

      But only the Ram is the lacking area of the PS3 if your talking capacity Xbox360’s shared 512Mb @ 700Mhz Ram wins but if your talking Speed of Ram PS3’s 256Mb @ 3.2Ghz wins easy.

      Moving on OS Usage

      PS3 OS Memory 64Mb

      Xbox360 OS Memory 32Mb

      But PS3’s Ram Capacity could easly be fixed by creating a Partition of the Hard Drive
      and having the 1 @ 256Mb 3.2Ghz XDR Main RAM Store data there instead, 2Gb or 4Gb or maybe even 8Gb Sony you choose.

      Sony uses more Ram for OS then Microsoft I speculate this is do to Microsoft being a bigger Software data company. Then on the other hand Sony is a much bigger hardware company so PS3 is more reliable on the hardware side of things.

  • TVippy

    Ignorant speculations.

  • Carlborton

    An easy way to find a song! I have thousands of songs and it takes too long to find a certain track. I don’t think they’re going to be able to speed it up much as there is more ram on my upcoming smartphone!

  • Anonymous

    Cross game chat is solved by using the skype on your PSP, but other than that I’m more interested in the future of XMB. Have a colour wheel similar to that found on Mac OSX would be really convenient having a primary & secondary colour maybe have a metallic option as well. They should allow icon editing on both PSP & PS3 so aside form the original icons you’re able to remove what you’re not gonna use. So if you don’t use skype on ur PSP just simply hide that icon, or for those of us in canada who don’t get comics, that icon is such a waste of space. For the PS3 I can see it speeding up in-game xmb by only showing what is accessible. I’d personally like to see the visualizers having colour options and the ability for it to stay static and chose which visualizer animation we want going on. Google Earth would just be really cool, Sony needs to take more advantage of the relationship they have with google and vice-versa. Now I fear it may be too late but if the PSP has skype, the PS3 should really have it as well. And most importantly Sony needs to realize how many of the PS3 users are also Mac users, that common dislike towards Microsoft is a strength Sony should embrace. Things remote play on iphones/ipads (though they’ll make it exclusive to their S&P tablets anyways) Not saying all PS3 users have macs, because it is ironically more compatible with PC’s. More bluetooth functionality would be nice between the PSP Go for thigns like transferring data and remote play.


    OH YEAH! IN GAME MUSIC IS A NEED IN 2012! CGC ok…ok we begrudgingly understand…BUT! Personalized sound track …? come on!  Worst case scenario.. in game music should be available after beating most games, I know a lot of effort and finance goes into audio production, so atleast make this available after some degree of game play– truly is a must have! Not to flame this stream but the death-box has had their mandate for years now on this..come on!

  • iPeeLavaLampGoo

    All I ask for is a much much better web browser. Doesn’t have to be Chrome, just update it for ONCE. And the XMB load time in-game is horrific. Either fix that or add a feature that brings me straight to my message inbox instantly during a game.

    • The XMB load time is different per game.  Likely the developer is more responsible for that.


    Upgrade the PS3’s out dated browser and create add-on link for crackle’s free and pay to play movies under video icon.

    Create a 2012 mandate that allows for established psn id’s to be used in local co-op play, providing both players opportunity for trophies.

    Create internet radio function, like psp under music icon.

    Upgrade the friends chat to be much more intuitive, using it reminds me of 1980’s Aquarius!

    Give specific trophies some virtual value within PS HOME.

    Any game similar to play create share should have room for personally created PS HOME avatar or simply let aforementioned avatar be a possible gamer id avatar.

    MOST IMPORTANTLY! Learn from this generation of gaming and consoles and do not dare release a new console with less than 1gb ram, though 2gb would be much preferred by that time.

    MY DREAM.. bring playtv to NA! or work with googletv!  …come on.

    • “MOST IMPORTANTLY! Learn from this generation of gaming and consoles and
      do not dare release a new console with less than 1gb ram, though 2gb
      would be much preferred by that time.”

      That will not come with a firmware update.   <- See what you are teaching these kids Daniel! LOL

  • Daniel — Cross Game Chat will never happen.  If it could have happened it would have already.  It would have come with PS+.  Cross Game Chat for PS3 is Dead On Arrival.

    Here is why — and as a “Journalist” you are the one that should be reporting this, via research and talking with PlayStation 3 developers.

    For Cross Game Chat would have to be added to the PS3 developer API.  Let’s just say they did this TODAY.  So Sony comes out and says PS3 developer API now supports cross game chat.  Each developer and each publisher would have to update EVERY GAME.  Even single player games, because cross game chat means cross game chat.

    This would never happen on the developer / publisher side they are all too busy working on (hopefully) profitable games.

    Sony would not want to be inundated with code certifications that would likely bring their quality assurance to a stand still and hold up many games causing delays.

    I appreciate that you as a writer are excited for the possibilities of PS3 FW Update 4.0 but these articles of wishful speculation do not provide any value to the audience at large.  I am just kind of sick of speculation and conjecture passing for “news”.

    Has anyone reported on any evidence to what we may see in PS3 FW 4.0?  Now that would be an interesting read.

    Keep in mind that the PS3 API already has many features that are not even used. YouTube Uploads and Custom Soundtracks are 2 that are used in a handful of games.

    • Steve Michael

      Rich, Cross game chat could easily be added to the PS3 without having to change every game, however it will never be done.  Sony held out quite a bit of RAM to look at including this feature but decided not to do it and give the RAM to the developers around a year and a half ago.  So developers now have >50MB of extra RAM to play with.  Given that the system only have 256MB of main system RAM this was great for development.  

      My features for 4.x firmware is not to add any more features but to polish the current stuff AND work hard to reduce the OS footprint even more.  Having said that, at this point I wouldn’t be investing a ton in system updates for the PS3 and would have guys working on the PS4.  My strong suggestion would be to use Android for the base OS of the PS4 and to do the following:
      1.  Keep the Cell processor add more SPE’s and perhaps even multiple cores.  Most developers hate the cell, but a change now would not be good.   One core could be dedicated to just the OS.
      2.  Add a 8X or greater BR drive.  The current drive is way too slow.
      3.  Add a LOT more RAM.  Yes their RAM strategy (RAMBUS) is expensive but the system should have at least 2GB of system RAM and 1GB video RAM.  

      4.  Keep the price at $300 and make is 100% backward compatible.  Give it the ability to upscale all 720P games to 1080P and most if not all current PS3 owners will be on board just to get the faster load times. 

      5.  Again, use Android as the OS.  I can’t stress this enough because Sony isn’t a “good” software company and Google is.  Not to mention that you would have access to “normal” Android apps to also expand your PS4 experience.  

      6. I guess they could look at including Move+Camera in every console.  I personally don’t care about it, and don’t plan on buying it but they have invested a lot of resources in to its success, so they might have to eat it and include one in every console.  This may be the difference between a $300 version and a $400 version.  My bet is that few would buy the $400 version though… 

      So in short, I wouldn’t invest in new features in the PS3, but focus hard on the PS4.  I would form a good partnership with Google and Oracle (Oracle so I wouldn’t get sued for the Java thing).

      • “Rich, Cross game chat could easily be added to the PS3 without having to
        change every game, however it will never be done.  Sony held out quite a
        bit of RAM to look at including this feature but decided not to do it
        and give the RAM to the developers around a year and a half ago.  So
        developers now have >50MB of extra RAM to play with.  Given that the
        system only have 256MB of main system RAM this was great for

        At one time the XMB used up something like 128mb of RAM, it was nuts.  At that time they could have slipped the feature in without requiring any updates, but if they were going to do it today they would require updates to each game (due to the changes in memory headroom).

  • Sony has confirmed that cross game chat isn’t possible due to RAM restrictions.

    • That is the easy answer.  The answer I provided above is the real answer.

  • Yorick

    Sony has already officially said that the PS3 is not capable of CGC so get over it and stop asking for it already.

  • monstermons

    cross game chat? sony confirmed it will never happend, not enough ram on the PS3 to support it. 
    i hope to see new dashboard and new features. a complete overhall. it might happend some time before vita. but  dont get ur hopes up sony loves to annoy their customers.

  • Dre

    I agree the XMB is very slow when you are in game , and at times make you not want to look @ a message a friend sent you. And what about a complete overhaul of the dashboard its kinda outdated.

  • Lalancette306

    I really don’t care for cross game chat its pointless and sony know’s it

    • Anonymous

      Indeed, I want to be chatting to people in the SAME game as me, not people playing a totally different game…

      The only people talking about X-Game chat are lame Xbox fanboys that found somethimg PS3 owners don’t have (nobody is talking about the hundreds of things the PS3 has that the XBox doesnt….)

      • Jonathan

        As the saying goes, dont knock it til u try it. Cross game chat is actually a really great feature. Its fun being able to play a single player game while talking to a group of friends. Also it makes it easy to see what your friends are doing before hopping in a game with them.

  • Amuller

    Dude how bout music while in-game

    • jsoh

      you can do that but the devs have to implemant it. red dead redemtion has in game music and so does gran turismo 5 and killzone 2

    • Anonymous

      Pretty much every game I have has custom ingame music.  Perhaps you don’t know how to use it/

    • Yep this is a feature already available just not very well supported.

  • arch

    how about playing flash videos from the web? half of the websites doesnt work on Ps3

  • Anonymous

    .mkv support that’s all I ask

    • Use PS3 Media Server, it plays MKV.

      • Javs

        Cool, but what about HD Audio… Subtitles… and let’s not forget you need a computer to even consider that… Screw transcoding! It cant be considered to play MKV if all it is doing is transcoding to MPEG container on the fly.

  • Wesley

    I just want a decent web browser, that too much to ask for?

  • 1bjorkedal

    Please please Sony, add a Youtube app and I will forever be happy. God I hate watching youtube in 240 resolution on a 40 inch tv, this should really be adressed now

  • Vfx

    Flash and RAW photo Plugins… Screenshot ability. Better photo and video import and file management within albums. Photo tagging.

  • A better web browser and incude an E-mail client

  • arch

    Sony, please DO NOT let us have cross game chat. Thats one of the most silliest things i’ve ever heard. I dont want to play games and listen some teens chating about something irelevant to the game. Leave this bulls**t to xbox fags.

    • Platnumslayer7

      really? Cross game chat is really a great thing.  If im playing Skyrim and my friends playing Rage we can chat about the days news or somthing. I have had Hours long chat sessions On Psn where im staring at an icon the whole time. And It sucks to have to Leave a game when somone is chat inviting you to tell you somthing. And BTW Cross chat is possible on Ps3, But it depends on the game and how much ram it uses. this is the true reason why some games have Music and dont.

      • arch

        havent you considered to pick up the phone instead?? Leave console for gaming and not for silly chatting: whats new in Primark / have you seen those nice red shoes / oh, and the new collection of dildos!
        and if you really want that then why not to use video chat? you can even take your clothes off and chat there how much you want.

        • Blarghmen

          Dude, just stop talking.

    • you would be talking to people you know. NOT RANDOM PEOPLE.

  • Dollarman_11

    they have got ps2 games on the store resident evil VX is on there

  • Adenicio

    for the past month when the ps3 shuts off from the browser by freezing it sends the info to sony but months have past and the ps3 never got the web browser freezing problem fix.we also need more compatible games with remote play from the ps3 to psp.the in game xmb i agree need a few things out so it can be mutch faster cause it takes one year when your in call of duty just to type a msg to friend.home need more speed.and im sorry the cross game voice chat is possible all they have to do is an upgrade of new ps3 with more RAM some will be disapointed cause they wont get that option but i will gladly buy a new ps3 for that option

  • Cross game chat will never happen.

  • Glaciusx25

    Cannot add XGC, not enough RAM. This has been discussed.

  • Ronref1995

    They should let u play games with xbox 360 online

    • Abc

      Lol  why not just let you play xbox360 games ?

  • Ozzy

    we are missing the ability to be able to changes your PSN ID. Japanese accounts have it so should American accounts!