Sony launched Firmware Update v2.10 for the Playstation 3 Monday night, officially upgrading the game console to a Profile 1.1 Blu-ray player.
As we've previously reported, word of the update first surfaced online Monday morning, after the European PS3 website briefly posted documentation for the new firmware version. By 10:00pm PT, the firmware update was live here in the US, and announced in a post on the official PlayStation Blog.
As promised, the update brings the PS3’s Blu-ray drive up to Profile 1.1, which will enable it to play back discs encoded with "true" picture-in-picture functionality. (For a detailed overview of Blu-ray profiles, read Josh Zyber's High-Def FAQ: Blu-ray Profiles Explained.)
The first discs to incorporate Profile 1.1 features are scheduled to hit store shelves in January 2008. To date, announced titles include 'Resident Evil: Extinction' from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 'Sunshine' from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, and both 'War' and '3:10 to Yuma' from Lionsgate Entertainment. All Profile 1.1 discs are expected to function normally in existing players as far as movie playback and traditional bonus features go, but the new 1.1 enhanced features will not be accessible without a Profile 1.1 compliant player.
Sony's documentation for the update also outlines a new "BD Data Utility," which is described as saving management data used by Blu-ray Disc. Other outlined features include a new voice changer feature for voice and video chat, DivX and WMV video playback and a "Type 3" bitmap audio option.