AV-centric PS3 device in the pipeline, plus major firmware update details for March 2007

The father of the Playstation, Ken Kutargai, promised the release of a purely audio/visual PS3 based device in the near future, the main focus of which would be only on delivering mutlimedia content and not as a games console.

This is rather surprising, since Tivo-like functionality was rumoured for the PS3 months before it’s launch, so it’s uncertain what shape this is now going to take – it may be delivered in a box derived from a PS3, but not actually a PS3?

Phil Harrison, Sony Computer Entertainment Executive VP was interviewed this week and mentioned some of the new features that are coming along for the March 2007 firware update, which also ties in with the European launch: (taken from www.videogamesblogger.com)

  • Multi-tasking (included will be audio/video conferencing while browsing the Cross Media Bar (aka XMB) and its features/gameplay).
  • New XMB display options.
  • New animations for audio playback.
  • New photo album options.
  • PlayStation Store auto-resume.
  • PSP remote play advanced access option, so you can have access to your PS3‚Äôs content anywhere where there‚Äôs an internet connection.

Also mentioned are the addition of a TV tuner and TiVo-like service coming in Q4 2007. If these features are going to be available as add-on’s (the tuner) or firmware updates (TiVo functionality), I believe the PS3 is really going to be an attractive ‘do-it-all’ box, that will truely shine above the XBox360.

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