PS3 Firmware update 1.8 – PSOne/PS2/DVD upscaling to HD, plus remote internet access from your PSP!

Sony really pulled an ace out from their sleeve with this latest firmware update this week(1.80); it is stuffed with so many new features it’s going to take a while to check them out. This more than makes up for last Thursdays rather barren Playstation Store update (1 game video and a downloadable game, Rampage, that didn’t appear for many until several days after the store update)?

Most of these features had been talked about for a while but no-one was sure when they were going to come, and whether or not they were just rumors in the community – the PS3 now has HD upscaling for Playstation and PS2 games, as well as a smoothing (anti-aliasing?) feature. I checked out the upscaling and smoothing briefly and it makes PS2 games look pretty cool in 1080p on our Bravia 🙂 DVD upscaling is now also included – haven’t tried this out yet, but I’m very excited about this since it means I no longer have to look for a new DVD player that does upscaling to HD.

The other addition that I’m sure people will be very excited about (and I can’t wait to try out) is the ‘Remote Play’ internet access from a PSP across the internet. Very cool – this will now let you browse and play any of your photos, music and videos stored on your PS3 remotely from any location where you can get WiFi access on your PSP – your PS3 is now your own remotely accessible media server. Very sweet. Will have to take a trip to a local coffee shop with weekend with my PSP and try this out!

Another feature I had not heard anyone discussing previously is the ability for the PS3 to connect to any machine running Windows Media Player 11 and stream content from it. I tried this out and it works well. You can browse all your media content stored on your PC from your PS3, so you no longer have to copy across media onto your PS3’s harddrive if you already have a large collection of media on your PC. I used this to brwose through some large MPEG video captures (1-2 GB) that were on my PC that I haven’t edited down yet to DVDs, and was surprised that even with files this large this works extremely well.

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