Sony has released the latest version of the PlayStation 3 (PS3) firmware. Version 1.80 features upscaling of PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games, and standard DVD movies up to full 1080p HD resolution when viewed on a HD TV set using HDMI inputs. The PS3 will not upscale to 1080p using component cables or DVI.
Upscaling has been something that consumers have been clamoring for from their PS3s. It should be noted that not all Blu-ray or HD DVD players upscale, so this feature puts the PS3 neck and neck with some of the most expensive Blu-ray players out there. Additionally, the upscaling of PSOne and PS2 games was more than a pleasant surprise. The ability to play games from previous systems in HD is a welcome treat.
PS3 firmware 1.80 also expands the functionality of the PSP. Now the PSP can access content stored on your PS3's hard dive from anywhere in the world, provided both the PS3 and PSP are hooked up to a broadband internet connection and the PSP's firmware has been updated. This means you can access music and videos stored on your PS3 on the road via your PSP.
The new PS3 firmware also allows users on a home network to seamlessly view and play a variety of media content such as images, music and video on their PS3 from their computer (PC or Mac) or any DLNA3 (Digital Living Network Alliance) enabled device elsewhere in the house. Now you can stream music and video from your office PC to your living room via a local network. This makes the PS3 a feasible home entertainment hub... now if it would only work as a HD tuner...
Another less talked about feature is the PS3's new found ability to print images, either from the hard drive or from flash media cards. Sony's continual upgrade of the PS3 continues to add value to anyone looking to expand the role of their PlayStation 3.