Some firmware updates offer 3D support, others include XrossMediaBar improvements, while there are those that are more mysterious. Today's 3.42 firmware update falls squarely into the latter category. The update is mandatory for users wishing to access PlayStation Network features, "addresses security vulnerability in the system software," according to Sony's European PlayStation blog. It also follows the release last month of the PlayStation 3's first commercially available hacking device.
While Sony wouldn't confirm or deny that the v3.42 update disables the functionality of the so-called PS Jailbreak, a spokesperson issued GameSpot the following statement: "Since this is an overall security related issue, we will not be providing further commentary with regards to this case; however, as we always have, we will continue to take necessary actions from both hardware and software to protect the intellectual property of the content offered on the PS3 system."
The PlayStation 3 console was hacked at the end of August by a group called PS Jailbreak, who released a USB dongle onto the international market that also allowed the public to modify the console. The hack made it possible for users to install homemade and pirated software onto the PlayStation 3's hard drive, therefore negating the need to have the original software on disc.
However, sales of the device were temporarily halted by Australia’s federal court until September 3, and then indefinitely banned in the region last week. A Justice ordered all sales and preorders of the device to be delivered directly to Sony Computer Entertainment, whose European and Australian arms had initiated the legal action against distributors of the device.
Both Sony's European and US PlayStation blogs are reporting that the 3.42 update is available for download now in their respective territories. Sony Europe reports no other features as part of the update, and PS3 owners will need a minimum of 168MB of free space on either the PS3 HDD or removable storage media to install it.