PS3 updated, PC-to-PSP store launches

Sony tweaks its console firmware as it launches new service allowing nonconsole-based downloads; new PS Store content, games half price for Thanksgiving.

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Today, Ubisoft upset many PlayStation 3 owners by revealing that its exclusive for the console, Haze, has been delayed until next year. Luckily, as the day went on, owners of the resurgent platform and its handheld sibling received a bevy of good news from Sony itself.

Firstly, Sony has upgraded the PS3's firmware to version 2.01. The minor update's major feature is increased stability during gameplay and Web surfing. The update also sharpens graphics upscaling for PlayStation 2 games on those PS3s with backward compatibility, and corrects a remote start error that led to some consoles being turned on by accident.

PS3 owners also now have a variety of new options to choose from in the PlayStation Store. Sony has decided to celebrate the US Thanksgiving holiday by releasing two casual games that use the PlayStation Eye camera--Operation Creature Feature and Aquatopia--for $4.99 and $1.99, respectively. The PlayStation store now also offers a $2.99 expansion pack for fl0w, a $9.99 Need for Speed ProStreet Collector's Edition upgrade, and the extensive list of downloadable Rock Band songs revealed last week. In addition to the new content, Sony also temporarily discounted several older downloadable PS3 games on the PlayStation Store. Calling All Cars, fl0w, PixelJunk Racers, and Everyday Shooter have all been reduced to $4.99 through November 29.

Ironically, arguably Sony's biggest news of the day didn't have anything to do with the PS3 at all. This afternoon, the company launched the PlayStation Store for the PC, which will give PlayStation Portable owners who don't own a PS3 access to downloadable games for the first time. The international shop, located at store.playstation.com, offers many of the PlayStation 1-to-PSP ports currently available in the PS3 PlayStation store, such as Twisted Metal 2 and Tekken 2. It also offers several games designed for the PSP (Wipeout Pure, Syphon Filter Combat Ops) demos, game videos, and PSP themes. A full list of titles can be found on the official PlayStation Blog. Although the games bear an à la carte charge, the service itself is free, although it does require a special application to download games to a PC and then transfer them to a PSP.

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