As expected, the PS3 will become fully Blu-ray 2.0, or BD-Live, compatible with its next major software update, slated for "late March." The functionality will give upcoming movies the ability to go online for downloads—games, ringtones and bonus audio and video. No other Blu-ray player on the market has this capability, and only a few due out this year will, so PS3 is still your best bet, Blu-ray-wise.
The movies themselves will start appearing in April, starting with Sony's own releases, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and The 6th Day. The update also brings new PSP interoperability, such as the ability to move a photo or music playlist from the PS3 to the PSP. All known details are below.
PLAYSTATION(R)3 To Support New Interactive Blu-ray Movie Features (BD-LIVE) With Upcoming System Software Update
PS3(TM) Owners Will Soon Enjoy Downloadable Movie Content, Games And More With Blu-ray Disc(TM) Profile 2.0; PS3's Interoperability With PSP(R) Will Also Be Enhanced
FOSTER CITY, Calif., March 20 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today announced that the next system software update for PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(TM)) computer entertainment system, slated for release in late March, will add Blu-ray Disc(TM) (BD) Profile 2.0 or BD-LIVE, enabling PS3 owners to experience interactive features, such as downloadable video content, ringtones, games, and more. In addition to BD-LIVE, the system software update (v. 2.20) will enable photo and music playlists on PS3 to be copied to PSP(R)(PlayStation(R)Portable) handheld entertainment system, among other new features. These updates demonstrate how PS3 continues to evolve as a home entertainment hub with the flexibility to deliver the newest technology innovations that benefit PS3
"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," said Scott A. Steinberg, vice president, product marketing, SCEA. "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."
BD Profile 2.0 requires an Internet connection and at least 1GB of local storage. The following features have all been demonstrated as possibilities with BD-Live and will vary by movie title.
— A variety of downloadable content can be offered, including bonus scenes, shorts, trailers, subtitles, ringtones that can be sent to mobile phones, images, and more.
— Interactive movie-based games can pit players who are sitting in the same room, or are across the world and online, against each other.
In conjunction with the PS3 firmware update, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) is pleased to announce two BD-LIVE enabled titles to be released on April 8 - Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and The 6th Day. Both titles will include exclusive downloadable content that goes beyond what is available on the actual Blu-ray discs. These initial releases preview some of the exciting new developments that will soon be available from BD-LIVE on Blu- ray disc.
Beyond BD-LIVE, the new system software update enhances PS3 system's interoperability with PSP system, enabling users to take their favorite music and photo playlists with them on-the-go with their PSP. To copy a playlist, PSP and PS3 must first be connected with a USB cable, and the PSP must be in USB mode. Then, on PS3, select "Copy" in the option menu of each music or photo playlist, and choose PSP as the destination. Now the playlist order, and the songs or photos themselves, will be accessible on the PSP's Memory Stick PRO Duo anytime, anywhere. This new functionality makes it easer than ever to share media content between the two systems.
The following new features will also be included in the system software update.
— "Resume play" 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.(*1)
— "Audio Output Device" will be a new Remote Play setting, enabling PSP to serve as a remote control for music played through PS3.
— 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 be playable.
— "Mosquito Noise Reduction" will be added as an AV setting in the control panel of the DVD/BD player for improved movie playback.(*2)
*1 BD-J format disc is not supported.
*2 BD discs recorded with BDMV format are not supported.
About PS3 and PSP System Software Updates
PS3 and PSP systems were designed to continually evolve with regular system software updates that deliver new features. There's no additional investment required from consumers, who simply update their systems and can immediately enjoy the benefits of the added functionality. This process lengthens the lifecycle of PS3 and PSP, and consumers no longer have to worry about their hardware becoming outdated or missing out on exciting new capabilities. SCEA will continue to release system software updates on an ongoing basis. For further details and instructions on how to update the PS3 and PSP system software, please visit us.playstation.com.