Sony releasing PS3 Firmware 3.61

Three days ago Sony released a comprehensive update to their timeframe for bringing the PSN back up and running at full speed – with many services resuming by the end of the week.

Now we’re getting official (translated) confirmation that, as part of Sony’s updated security, users should expect to download a new firmware – designated 3.61.

Sony had previously hinted at the possibility of a new firmware as part of their on-going FAQ blitz – with one community rep even teasing the possibility of new features.

However, the May 1 press release laid-out a pretty specific function for the update – which we now know is designated 3.61.

PS3 will have a forced system software update that will require all registered PlayStation Network users to change their account passwords before being able to sign into the service.

According to an updated timeline featured on the Japanese PlayStation Blog, firmware 3.61 will arrive “soon” – meaning that the aforementioned “forced system software” will coincide with the restoration of PSN services and feature the “required” password change.

From the Japanese PS Blog timeframe list:

Enable password change “PlayStation 3” System Software Update ver.3.61 (soon)

While it’s still certainly possible that the update could include new features, such as the long-awaited cross-game chat, it’s highly unlikely that this would be the time Sony would choose to roll them out. The company has been singularly focused on beefing up their security and, while PS3 gamers would certainly rejoice, implementing a complicated feature like cross-game chat would have taken time away from their main priority of securing the system and network – even if it would have been a nice good-will move to help users move on from their PSN-related bitterness.

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Instead, Sony intends to sate fans with PSN store content (as well as anti-fraud credit assistance and potential reimbursement for new cards). Even though it might disappoint some customers, providing users with free content and helping them protect themselves from potential fraud is a much more appropriate reaction than rushing-out a new system feature.

We’ll know soon-enough what to expect from PS3 firmware 3.61 but our money is on some new behind-the-scenes security features as well as the password wall that will force users to update their security information – and nothing else.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick and let us know what improvements you’re hoping to see in firmware 3.61.

Source: PlayStation Blog (Japan)

tags: PS3, PSN, Sony