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Sony pledges Blu-ray Profile 2.0 PS3 update this month

BD Live online content links coming to console

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Updated Sony has announced a PlayStation 3 firmware update that will bring support for the Blu-ray Disc Profile 2.0's BD Live online interaction technology to the games console.

The update, due later this month, will take the PS3's firmware to version 2.20, Sony said. BD Live mandates an internet connection and 1GB of local storage for cached data. While some Blu-ray Disc players lack both of these, they're both ready to go on the PS3.

BD Live enables disc makers to embed links to downloadable content that can be accessed directly from within the disc's own user interface. It also makes online gaming possible, adding network awareness to the format's existing interactivity features.

The new firmware will allow certain discs to be stopped and playback resumed from that point at a later date. Sony said the feature doesn't apply to discs that use BD Java, the Blu-ray format's interactivity technology, which rules out almost all the format's major releases and upcoming titles. BD-J is used to deliver fancy "enhanced menus" and picture-in-picture playback.

BD-J is a cornerstone of Blu-ray Profile 1.1, which the PS3 has supported for a while now.

The console will get a new noise-reduction feature - "Mosquito Noise Reduction" - that will work with standard-definition content on DVDs and BDs.

Sony said the firmware update will also allow a PSP to act as a remote speaker for the games console and to act as a remote control for the bigger machine. The new software will let PS3 music and photo playlists to be transferred to a PSP.

The PS3's browsing experience will be improved with the update, particularly video viewing, Sony said, and the console will get the ability to view DivX and WMV video files larger than 2GB in size.

Update
Sony's official PlayStation blog says the update will appear "in the next few days". Thanks to reader Tony Chandler for the tip.

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