It looks like Sony's PlayStation 3 is on the verge of receiving a firmware upgrade which will make it a Profile 1.1 Blu-ray player.
That's according to documentation posted earlier today on the UK PlayStation website, which lists the firmware 2.10 update with a European release date of Tuesday December 18 (UPDATE: Sony appears to have since pulled the page down).
At press time it wasn't clear when the update might find its way to the US, but it's expected soon.
An upgrade to Profile 1.1 would make the PS3 capable of playing back discs encoded with "true" picture-in-picture functionality, which requires decoders for secondary video and audio. (For a detailed overview of Blu-ray profiles, read Josh Zyber's High-Def FAQ: Blu-ray Profiles Explained.)
As we've previously reported, 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 was 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.