New PlayStation 3 version 1.80 software gives console new capabilities

Word from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe indicates that the PlayStation 3 will be receiving a significant firmware update on May 24, 2007. New for firmware version 1.80: upscaling of original PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games to 1080p when viewed on a compatible HD TV set.

With the announcement coming from the offices of Sony Europe, it’s still unknown if the upscaling of older PlayStation software is a result of the revised hardware’ssoftware emulation, meaning that the feature could be exclusive to the Euro-spec PS3. Currently, North American and Japanese PlayStation 3 utilize dedicated PS2 chips for the backwards compatibility of previous-generation titles.

Also on the upscaling front, the new 1.80 update will enable the PS3 to upscale DVD movies up to full 1080p as well. This feature was promised by Phil Harrison back in March, and now gives the PlayStation 3 similar DVD playback capabilities as most other standalone Blu-ray players.

Version 1.80 will finally enable Remote Play on gamers’ PSP across the Internet, allowing them to access their PS3 anywhere in the world where a broadband internet connection is available. The new firmware also allows users on a home network to view media content such as images, music and video on their PS3, that is stored on their DLNA3 enabled devices such as PCs and laptops elsewhere in the house.

Another quirky addition to the PlayStation 3 in 1.80 is the support for a selection of Epson printers, allowing the console to interface and print photo images stored on PS3’s hard disk or inserted storage media. Such changes reinforce Sony’s desire to make the PlayStation 3 the quintessential media machine.

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