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PS3 to Get BD 2.0

20 Mar, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

The PlayStation 3, the Blu-ray Disc enabled video game console that helped win the high-def format war over HD DVD, will soon be able to download new material for Blu-ray movies, Sony announced March 20.

Sony said that a firmware update for the gaming system due later this month will add BD 2.0, also known as BD Live, making the Blu-ray player with the highest household penetration capable of playing the special features offered on every Blu-ray Disc from the studios. BD 2.0 requires 1GB of storage space.

“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, VP of product marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment America. “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.”

Two April 8 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment titles, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and The 6th Day, will include bonus features that will require BD 2.0 capability, mainly downloadable extras that come with the discs.

HD DVD long held an advantage over Blu-ray in the Internet connectivity department, with every HD DVD player automatically featuring the features that BD 2.0 offers. Now that the PS3 will be up to speed, downloadable bonus scenes, trailers, new subtitle tracks, ringtones, interactive games and more will be readily accessible for Blu-ray fans.

The firmware update (v. 2.20) also allows PS3 owners with a PSP to hook the two up via a USB cable, and copy music playlists and photos between the two. The update also allows Blu-ray Discs and DVDs to be restarted at the point they were stopped, even if the disc has been removed; enables the PSP to serve as a music remote control for the PS3; improves the speed at which downloads for the PS3 can be streamed; and allows DivX- and WMV-formatted videos larger than 2GB to be played.

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