Sony announced Thursday plans to release new firmware for its PlayStation 3 video game console. The new update will expose new capabilities in the PS3’s Blu-ray Disc player. It’s a free update for PS3 users in North America and will be posted on Friday.
Blu-ray Disc is the heir apparent to the crown of high-definition optical media formats. The format battled against HD DVD, which manufacturer Toshiba recently discontinued.
The updated firmware enables Blu-ray Disc Profile 2.0, or BD-Live, to be supported on the PS3. BD-Live enables Blu-ray Disc makers to incorporate aditional interactive features including downloadable video content, ringtones, games and more.
You can also transfer music and photo playlists from the PS3 to the PSP and use the PSP as a remote control for music playback using “Remote Play.” DivX and WMV playback functionality has been improved, along with new Internet browser settings and additional AV settings.
New features expected to be exposed in the future include “Portable Copy,” which will enable PS3 users to copy a standard-definition version of the Blu-ray movie to a PlayStation Portable (PSP).
Editor’s note: Due to a reporting error, it was originally reported that “Portable Copy” is exposed in the new firmware update. It is not, though Sony vaunts that feature as a future capability. The article has been corrected accordingly.