Once again, Sony’s PlayStation3 has outmaneuvered its dedicated Blu-ray player rivals. Sony has now confirmed that the next firmware update (version 2.20) due later this month, will make the console compatible with BD Live discs. This will allow owners of upcoming profile 2.0 discs to access online content, including trailers and interactive Java games. Sony will release its first two BD Live discs, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and The 6th Day, on April 8.
Dedicated Profile 2.0 players are required to have at least 1GB of local storage memory, the PS3 addresses this by using its internal hard drive.
Sony adds that the update with also enhance PSP/PS3 interoperability. Interestingly, Sony Pictures has also confirmed that it plans to release some Blu-ray movies with lower resolution versions, dubbed Portable Copy, which can be transferred to the PSP for viewing on the go.
Other features to come with the firmware will include:
‘Resume play’, which will enable PS3 system to start playing a Blu-ray disc and DVD at the point it was stopped, even if the disc had been removed.
‘Audio Output Device’, which will be a new Remote Play setting, enabling PSP to serve as a remote control for music played through PS3.
‘Mosquito Noise Reduction’ will be added as an AV setting in the control panel of the DVD/BD player for improved movie playback.
PS3 system’s Internet browser will be enhanced. Video files directly linked from a Web page will be able to be streamed, and the browser’s view speed will be improved.
DivX and WMV format videos that are larger than 2GB will also be playable.
Scott A. Steinberg, Vice President of Product Marketing for SCEA, says: “With Blu-ray established as the high-definition optical disc standard, more consumers are ready to jump in and take advantage of everything the format offers. Whether you want to download movie extras, send ringtones to your phone, or play interactive games, BD-LIVE will offer exciting new ways to enjoy a Blu-ray movie. With these regular firmware updates and future-proofed technology, SCEA is making the 10-year lifecycle of PS3 possible.”