The first firmware upgrade of 2012 for Sony's PS3 has been announced.
The company plans to roll out software version 4.10 to the console today. Users will be required to download and install the new firmware before they are allowed to take the system online for Web browsing, online gaming, or any other purpose.
A minor change that comes with version 4.10 is an improved Internet browser that decreases load times. However, the real reason for the update is with the way users will log into the online network in the future.
As announced earlier this month, Sony will be renaming the Playstation Network, which launched alongside the PS3 in 2006, to the "Sony Entertainment Network." This is in an effort to streamline the company's online communities and services across different consumer electronic categories.
However, "This change is one in name only and will not change the PSN that you know and love. You’ll still play games online, still have access to the latest downloadable games and add-ons, and still experience a wide variety of movies, sports and music across PSN," clarified Sony Network Entertainment VP Eric Lempel in an official blog post.
Sony is hoping that by creating a unified network across an array of devices, it will strengthen its brand beyond Playstation and will also more readily compete with Microsoft, which underwent a very similar unification process a few years ago. Microsoft adjusted its disjointed products like Hotmail, MSN Messenger, and Games For Windows into a simpler Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Messenger, and Games For Windows Live brand of services.