We have told you that Sony is going to release the new firmwares on the 26th March, and here we are.
The PS Vita system software 3.50 is now available, and it is mandatory for using the Playstation Online services (such as the PSN Store).
In terms of official features, does the PS Vita firmware 3.50 offer you similar features that the PS4 firmware 2.50 just got.
You are now able to swap the funtionality of various buttons, e.g. swap X with O, but keep in mind that this will be system-wide (including games!), which seems to be a good idea, but in the end does not solve the problem a lot of people have with their imported PS Vita’s.
It would be nice if one would be able to restrict the button swaps to the homescreen (and its apps) only, instead of it also applying to games.
Next to the new button assign feature, you have a whole new category inside of your PS Vita’s Settings application, which is called Accessibility.
Accessibility offers you a Zoom function, which makes it a bit easier to read things on the PS Vita’s screen. It also offers you an ‘invert colors’ function, the ability to make texts bigger & bold, and also a ‘high contrast’ mode, which adjusts the colors a bit, to improve the clarity of things on the screen.
These functions are very nice for the few people that are handicapped, or simply prefer these helpful features, to improve their experience while using the Playstation Vita. It is also possible to quick-switch the ‘invert colors’ and ‘button assign’ features via the PS-Menu (the menu that appears when you keep the PS-Button pressed).
The firmware 3.50 has removed the Maps application from the homescreen, which offers you one more space for games (instead of system apps), and has heavily neutered the Near application. They just could have removed it too, in my opinion.
While the previous firmwares have seen quite an amount of released exploits by qwikrazor, it was pretty safe to assume that the next major firmware is going to patch all of them.
Firmware 3.50 does indeed patch the usermode exploits in Patapon 2, Arcade Darts & Numblast (other games were not tested, but are expected to be fixed as well), and also appears to patch the (somewhat wonky) kernel mode exploit by qwikrazor.
This would leave us with the Custom Bubbles as our last hope, since the game exploits & the kernel exploit got fixed, right? Well… It appears that Sony has fixed their (logical) flaw inside of the PS Vita’s PSPemulator, and Custom Bubbles are not working anymore. They instantaniously crash upon launching them.
Firmware 3.50 pretty much fixed everything that had been available for firmware 3.36, and it will take some time to get things back to a working state.
About the Custom Bubbles, those seem to be patched for good… It had been nice while the fun lasted, but Sony had to play fun police and fixed the Custom Bubble’s functionality.
To top it off, they also strenghtened their security in terms of being able to modify files inside of ms0:/PSP/, but those should be easily circumventable.