This week, as promised previously, we decided to show a video tour of the PS3 TOOL DECR-1000A XMB (XrossMediaBar) menu.
For anyone with a retail PlayStation 3 system, the options listed below are quite different. But, for those with PS3 Test units, the Debug settings are quite similar to that of a PS3 TOOL.
However, the biggest difference between a TEST and a TOOL is that of the TOOL's Communication Processor. Unlike the TEST, which relies on the PS3 hardware itself to do the work, the TOOL uses its CP for independent hardware debugging.
Going back to a Retail system - the major difference between a Retail and a Debug unit are the Check features (when pressing triangle), which runs a check on the installed application - reporting file size, location, contents etc. Another notable difference is, under the System Options setting, the Debug Settings - which contains a large number of features, detailed below in part.
One other significant difference between Retail systems and Development Systems is the coveted Install Package Option. Only available on TEST/TOOL's (as well as Demo systems, albeit neutered), this allows you to install properly created development packages onto the PS3.
Sadly, you can not just simply grab a bunch of retail game PKG's and install them - this feature is designed for the testing of code and patches. Those who wish to learn more can view our PS3 Debug/TEST and TOOL FAQ.
A useful feature in Development systems is the /app_home/PS3_GAME feature, which essentially lets you 'stream' a game right to the PS3, and lets you change things on the fly, and execute it very quickly.
Most of these features are self-explanatory, for instance O button behavior, allows O to become the X button, like on a Japanese system, or vice-versa. As is Game Output Resolution - you can set the output for the debugger, to either pass a nice 1920x1080 signal, or a "blurry" 480i composite signal.
Some of the features however are a bit more confusing, such as NP environment.
NP is the PlayStation Network, and may be aptley named NP and not PN (which, makes more sense) as it may be confused with PartnerNet - the Xbox DEV equivalent to LIVE. The NP enviorment can (depending on the box) be changed between Retail (np), Development (sp-int) and others like QA.
The other big difference between the PS3 TOOL and TEST, are the Boot Settings, listed as Debugger Mode, System Software Mode, and Release Mode. Release Mode is unavailable on a TOOL, however is available on a TEST.
Also the User Process Memory Size is listed, as the PS3 Reference TOOL has 512MB of system memory, on top of the 256MB of RSX memory. This 512MB can be split in half, to 256MB to match that of a retail system, with a simple click and reboot.
What may appear to be lacking on a PlayStation 3 TOOL are the Debug IP settings - some are there, but those are mainly for TEST systems, as debugging on port 1000 can be done over LAN, while PSN access can be done over WiFi.
Of course, not every option was covered in this tour. If you have any questions about the more common options, just drop a reply in this thread, and it will be answered- video is below!
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