One feature PS3 gamers have often lobbied for is the ability to download game patches, which can often be large files, in the background while still using the system to play or watch other content.
However, by manipulating the PlayStation Plus Automatic Update feature you can now download game patches in the background, and new system information screens displayed during the process suggest this is a planned feature which may be officially implemented in a future firmware update.
First, load the game in question and press OK when prompted with the latest update, then hit Circle to cancel the download.
From the XMB go into [System Settings] > [Automatic Update] > [On], set the update period to the current time, ensure Download Game Patches is ticked then select OK and turn off the PS3. It should turn back on immediately to run the auto-update, at this point wait a minute or so then press Circle to exit the auto-update and check your [Network] > [Download Management] list.
The patch data should appear in your list of background downloads here with a generic controller icon, and you can now play or watch any content that allows background downloads while the patch is pulled down.
You can even play the game which you're currently downloading the patch for, after seeing this new system information screen.
Click past that screen and you can get into the game, though you'll be restricted to offline play in the same way you normally are if you decline an update patch when prompted.
Once the patch has finished downloading in the background it will appear as an icon under Game on the XMB, which you can then select to install in the same way as a standard game downloaded from the Store.
Alternatively, load the game the patch relates to once it's downloaded and you'll be automatically prompted with another new system information screen to install the update before playing.
So there we have it, background downloading of patches, meaning large updates or slow internet connections should no longer get in the way of your gaming sessions.