Sony's PlayStation consoles, it seems, are like a fine bottle of scotch whiskey. They mature over time, and just keep getting better and better. Yesterday's PS3 and PSP firmware updates have added a few highly desirable features that combine to make the PlayStation brand ever-more an attractive option for new gamers.
The big thing for PS3 owners was the addition of DivX video support. So now you can play and stream DivX videos wirelessly from your PC or from a USB stick. Your entirely legal DivX movie collection is no longer stranded on your computer.
Play PS1 games on PSP
But the main new feature for those people lucky enough to own both a PSP and PS3, is the ability to remote play PS1 games on your PSP, via your PS3. Until now, the only official way to play original PlayStation games on your PSP was to download the few that are available on the PS Store and load them on to a memory card.
But the new Remote Play option does come with its drawbacks. Sure, in theory you could load up your PS3 with downloaded PS1 games and then play them on your PSP from hundreds of miles away via the internet. Hell, you can even put a PS1 disc in the PS3's drive bay and play that.
But this system uses software emulation on the PS3 and only streams the audio and video feed to your PSP. As you press buttons on your PSP, that info is fed back via the web or network to your PS3 which makes the appropriate changes.
This is likely to make the game slightly sloppy with reduced visual quality. That's something you don't get with the straightforward emulation of games stored on your PSP's memory stick.
First time ever
"Up until yesterday's update, it was only officially possible to play a select few PS1 titles on the PSP, by downloading them from the PlayStation Store," says games journalist Mike Channell.
"However, firmware hackers unlocked the PSP's native PS1 emulation some time ago, and began ripping disc images from retail PS1 games. The Remote Play revamp represents the first time Sony has officially sanctioned users to play any of their own purchased PS1 games on the portable system."
To make use of these cool new PS3 and PSP features, all you've got to do is update to the latest firmware from Sony.