With a modchip you just update when a disc asks you too. (Other then out of region).
If you're comfortable installing a modchip, go for it. But don't let softmoding scare you either. Provided you're literate and can follow steps in chronological order, you're fine.
Both can play any game out. The softmod'ing will just require a few work arounds at times. Sometimes a new release will come out and give problems for a day or two, then some genius some place will figure out the correct sacrifice to the gods to get it working.