It's not due out in the US for a couple months, but the PlayStation Vita is already compatible with all PS3 systems - as soon as they download the latest available firmware, that is.
This update will offer a few enhancements for the system, including advanced video playback settings for Blu-ray Discs and a stronger system for filtering out PlaystationNetwork friends and messages.
But the biggest update is one that won't even be visible to US gamers until next February. That's because PS3 firmware version 4.0's main feature is the console's ability to support connectivity with the Playstation Vita.
The Vita, which was supposed to come out for the 2011 holiday season but needed to be pushed back after this year's disastrous weather near Sony's Japanese manufacturing facilities, is the official successor to Sony's PSP handheld and brings with it a wealth of connectivity options.
In addition to supporting full game downloads over Wi-Fi, there is a model with built-in 3G service (powered exclusively by AT&T). Through these connections, users will be able to play online games not only with other Vita owners but potentially select Android phone users as well. There's also a Remote Play feature that will let gamers continue their PS3 games from their Internet-connected Vita.
The new firmware officially makes the PS3 recognize the Vita as a "content management device," making it easy for users to transfer multimedia content like music and videos, as well as games, save files, and Playstation applications.
The US release date for the Playstation Vita is February 22.
Mark Raby Based in New York City, Mark follows the consumer electronics industry like a hawk. A published book author, he has a particular affinity for 3D technology and video games, and as such will surely be in the market for a new pair of glasses soon. Mark can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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