Mar. 2, 2005 08:00 [PST]

PlayOnline Viewer Update  (Mar. 2)

At the following time, we performed a PlayOnline Viewer version update.

*The client update will start automatically after connecting to PlayOnline. Please follow the instructions that appear on your screen.

[Date & Time]
Mar. 2, 2005 from 8:00 (PST)

[Affected Services]
PlayOnline Viewer

[Important Update Details]
- The Friend List and several other features have been redesigned.
* Please refer to the link below for additional details regarding the Friend List.
* As of 3/3/2005, several of the new features have not yet been implemented into each game's Friend List. The date of implementation for each game is TBA.

- The Group Friend List and Group Chat features have been added.
The Group Friend List allows you to bring a number of friends together into a large group. You can send group messages to all members, and also check members' online status. You can also communicate with members via the new "Group Chat" function.
* To start Group Chat, select the Group Chat icon from the upper right of the screen and press the START button on the analog controller (DUAL SHOCK(R)2) or press the [F1] key.

- The "Comments" feature has been added.
"Comments" allows you to write a short message that can be viewed by friends on your Friend List or Group Friend List. Your comments are viewable even when you are offline, allowing you to leave important information for friends (such as "Will be back later tonight!").

* If a comment's text is cut off on the Friend List, you can read the entire message at the bottom of the screen.
* Please note that a profile's comments will remain the same even if the handle is switched.

- Portrait images from your friends' profiles will be displayed on your screen if they have been specified as public.
- The friend registration process has been simplified.
A user who receives a "Let's be friends!" message simply needs to accept the request, and both sender and receiver will be added to each other's Friend List. An additional "Let's be friends!" request is no longer necessary. You may also enter a message when sending a friend request.

- Additional options have been added to the profile settings menu.
The new profile system allows you to select what parts of your profile are public. The "Friends Only" item has also been added. If you choose "Friends Only," your profile will be hidden from friend searches, and will only be open to friends and group friends. Please note that this system does not allow you not to set public/private access by item. Please select the "Not set" option to hide items.
"Friend Search" and "Handle List" have been moved to the Navigator sub-menu.

- The "Busy" and "Away Message" online status settings have been removed. "Busy" status is now classified as "Online," and "Away Message" is classified as "Invisible (Offline)."

- The "More Details" function has been removed when viewing a friend. "Notes" and "Friend Type" functions have also been removed.

- "Privacy Level" has been removed from the Friend List.
Your online status is always displayed to friends and group friends, even if they are playing different games.
* This is handled in the same way as the "Level 2: All Friends" privacy setting.

- The "Let's chat!" and "Private chat" message features have been removed.

- The "Mail," "Chat," and "File Manager" buttons have been moved to the Navigator sub-menu.

- The icons on the Headline Bar at the top of the screen have been redesigned.
The Headline Bar is placed at the upper left of the screen, while the "Mail Check," "Message Check," "Group Chat," "Friend List," "Contents Menu," and "Log Out/Back to Game" icons are located at the upper right of the screen.

- The Auto Gallery feature has been added to the Options menu.
The Auto Gallery is a slide show feature that displays wallpaper pictures selected from the Options menu. Note that if you set only one wallpaper, the Auto Gallery will display it continuously. The amount of time before the Auto Gallery displays can be set from [Options] -> [Viewer] - [Auto Gallery] - [Waiting Time].

- The P2P connection test has been updated.

- When PlayOnline is started from the PlayOnline install disc, the current version number is displayed at the top of the login screen.

- Miscellaneous

* Note that this update changes the visual design of the PlayOnline Main Menu.
* For more information regarding the changes to the Friend List and the Main Menu, please refer to the "Top Picks Display" under the PlayOnline Viewer.

The PlayOnline version update will modify the "pol.exe" file. Certain security/antivirus software may issue a warning, but this is a normal part of the version update process.
(Windows version only.)