Sony Computer Entertainment America has issued the latest software upgrade for its PlayStation 3 console, adding much sought-after scaling capabilities designed to enhance its HD playback.
Though Sony has been marketing the PS3 as the "most advanced Blu-ray player on the market," critics and fans have long lamented the next-gen console's inability to upscale content encoded in 480 and/or 720 resolution to full 1080p.
However, with Sony's official release of V1.80, the PS3 is now capable of upconverting standard-def DVDs, non-HD Blu-ray disc content and all PlayStation games (including those for the PlayStation and PlayStation 2) to 1080p.
As an added bonus, the upgrade also allows for downconversion. Those with televisions only able to accept 720p signals can now enjoy Blu-ray titles encoded at 1080p/i downscaled to their sets' native resolution -- another function previously lacking on the console.
While most HDTV's already have built-in upscalers, most home theater enthusiasts agree that it is generally better to scale from the source. As a result, one of key attractions of any next-gen disc player is not only the ability to play high-def discs but also upconvert standard-def material to 1080. Though the quality of upscaled video still can't compare to genuine HD, it's essential for early adopters who already own a considerable library of DVDs and videogames encoded at lower resolutions, especially since many titles won't see a next-gen release for many years (if ever).
V1.80 was officially released Thursday, and is now available free to all PS3 owners on the official PlayStation website. For more information on how to download the upgrade via your console's WiFi or internet connection, consult your player manual.