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New Wii Firmware Streamlines Shop Interface

Posted by Chris Pereira Categories: Nintendo, Wii

Wii system menu

Earlier today, the Wii received a firmware update that closed the Wii Shop for several hours. Now that’s it’s back up, it’s readily apparent that the Shop was the main beneficiary. It now sports a search feature and lists the most popular games, among other things. There was a variety of other, smaller changes that have been documented on NeoGAF.

Channels:

  • Digital Clock added to the Wii Menu right under the channel bar
  • Forecast Channel now displays the current condition (cloudy, raining, etc.) directly in the Wii Menu in the Forecast Channel box
  • News Channel can now show 2 scrolling headlines at a time in the Wii Menu, 3 when you click on the button (supposedly this requires occasional downloading of the headlines to keep the ticker updated)
  • Message Board now has the “Today’s Accomplishments” message as a white message which allows it to stand out from other messages
  • Address Book entries can now be shifted around using A+B (supposed to be a launch feature) but only to empty spaces. Not too convenient.
  • Calendar in Message Board no longer shows “Today’s Accomplishment” only days as having messages
  • Scrolling messages in the Message Board now uses a different sound
  • Today’s Accomplishments in Message Boards now includes the names of people to whom messages were sent out

Wii Shop Channel Overhauled: (Visual aesthetic is the same, changes made to organization and browsing methods mostly)

  • New Welcome screen detailing 4 Recommended Titles and the points they cost (gone is the title screen bar that had linkable games). The title bar can be clicked on to bring up a list of 20 recommended games.
  • Titles You’ve Downloaded was moved to the main shop menu
  • New ways to browse
  • Popular Titles (2 pages of 10 and includes launch games so not only based on recent info)
  • Newest Additions remains the same
  • Search for a title which can use partial names
  • Search by Category
  • System shows the different systems and how many titles have been released under each
  • Publisher showing different publishers and amount of titles released (Nice logos!)
  • Genre (different genres listed and amount of titles under each)

Accessibility

  • Load times in interchannel loading has supposedly decreased
  • Password fields filled in using the keyboard (like on the Internet Channel) now display

Settings

  • Warning added pre-system update detailing that technically modified consoles may cease to function upon being updated. Also the only way to not accept an update is to power down the console by holding the button for 4 seconds (the user can’t back out of hitting I Accept w/o powering down)
  • Ability to quickly scroll the different options pages using the +,- keys
  • Blue disc light lights up when inserting or removing a game
  • Light also comes on when starting the Forecast or News Channels

Read More | NeoGAF

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Playstation 3 1.60 Firmware Update Coming This Week

Posted by Christopher Sasaki Categories: Hardware, PlayStation 3

XMB With the European launch of the PlayStation 3 coming up, Sony is preparing to release the 1.60 firmware update for users in all territories on March 22nd. The update should, of course, enable the “full” version of the emulation software for European PlayStation 3 consoles, but in North America and Japan, users will get the following new functionality:

  • Internet Browser changes: The firmware update adds a pinpoint zoom feature that automates the selection of the optimal enlargement ratio. In addition, there will be a new resolution option for adjusting web page viewing, including adjustments for flicker settings for interlaced output resolutions.
  • Folding@home: The Folding@home client for protein folding research will also be enabled, as previously announced by Sony.
  • Remote Play: users will now be able to use the Remote Play functionality through any wireless access point, not just through the built-in wireless on the PlayStation 3, so those users with the 20GB models will not be able to use this functionality.
  • Background downloading will be enabled. This will probably not be universal background downloading; as others have mentioned, background downloads will probably not be able to take place during gaming sessions.
  • Full size keyboard: Sony is adding a full-size virtual keyboard that users will be able to select rather than the current keypad-based entry.

Read More | Sony Japan (Google Translation)

Sony Releases PS3 Firmware Update 1.11

Posted by Christopher Sasaki Categories: Hardware, PlayStation 3

PS3 1.11 UpdateLate last night, Sony released a firmware update for the Playstation 3, version 1.11. Now, Sony has finally updated their support pages detailing the changes for the new firmware. As expected with a minor firmware revision, there are very few changes; the most noticeable will be the addition of an account management feature under the “Friends” tab of the XMB. Sony also claims that some of the Playstation Network functionality has been revised. Some gamers believe that the update speeds up the Playstation Store and the Internet browser, but Sony does not include these in the list of improvements.

Read More | Playstation.com

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