PSP Firmware v2.70 released worldwide

New hardware update for Sony's handheld adds support for AAC audio, Macromedia Flash, podcasts, and LocationFree TV.

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Sony has released new firmware for its PlayStation Portable in North America, Europe, and Japan. The Version 2.70 upgrade is available for download from www.yourpsp.com and offers new features such as the ability to view Flash content, an RSS reader that incorporates audio files, and AAC audio support. The update also supports Sony's LocationFree TV, which is currently available in Japan and the US and will be released in Europe this May.

The Flash update means that users can now view Web pages with interactive and multimedia content such as video. The option needs to be turned on in the system's web browser in order to function. However, it only supports Flash 6, and does not support all the features.

The PSP can now use the integrated RSS reader to play audio files, a system more commonly known as podcasting. You can also download these audio files to the Memory Stick to listen to later.

The v2.70 upgrade adds AAC audio support to the system's music player. AAC is the preferred method used by Apple's iTunes software when ripping CDs, and it typically offers better sound quality than MP3s at the same bitrate.

Sony's final update is support for LocationFree TV, which transmits television and video signals from a home computer over the internet. The signals can then be picked up via the PSP over a wireless network. The PSP console will be able to access live and prerecorded TV, in addition to setting schedules from a remote location.

Head over to Sony's PSP sites for North America, Europe, and Japan to download the update.

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