Sony Update PS3 Firmware, Blue-ray Hits Bumps

Sony Update PS3 Firmware, Blue-ray Hits Bumps

The latest Sony firmware update looks to fix the 1080i bug, but leaves games that do not support the resolution in 480p. Also today, Time Warner and an online study indicate that Blue-ray will not gain full market share anytime soon.

The latest PS3 firmware update has reshuffled the resolution priority on the PS3 to make sure that 1080i games are not reduced to 480p. Users can now select all of the resolutions their TV supports on the PS3 dashboard. The console will prioritize as follows: 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p, Standard (NTSC). This should reduce some headaches for PS3 owners with 1080i TV's that can scale to 720p. Unfortunately, games like Resistance: Fall of Man that do not have inherent 1080i support will continue to run at 480p on televisions that are unable to display 720p signals. It seems likely at this point that all future games for the system will be required to support all HD resolutions to avoid further issues.

Richard Parsons, the CEO of Time Warner, doubts that the PS3 will have any real impact on the ongoing high definition format war. "Do I think that the game console platform is really going to drive the conversion? I don't think so," he said. "People get those things to play games, not watch movies." Time Warner continues to produce movies in both HD-DVD and Blue-ray.

An online study done by Cymfony, a market influence analytics company, claims that Sony faces a great deal of distrust and negativity toward Blue-ray. Basing their findings on 18,000 posts gathered from "social media sites", chief strategy and marketing officer Jim Nail said that, "While the media and manufacturers duke it out over their format choice, our research shows that consumers are turning away from Blu-ray because of Sony's reputation and heavy-handed launch strategy."

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How could they not require their hardware or game makers to support 1080i from day 1? Most people with HDTVs either have a 720p native set or a 1080i capable CRT. I can understand holding off on 1080p support as not many people can afford a 1080p set, but 1080i is the "poor" man's HDTV.

There is a performance issue involved, heavyfeul. It takes alot more processing power to make a game run smoothly at higher resolutions. Sony even said that Resistance was going to be 1080 and then later have to retract that. It shows that making a game perform better isn't simple, much less when working on new hardware.

Yes, but with 1080i they only need to push 1,036,800 (1920x540) pixels per frame. As a comparison 720p pushes 921,600 (1280x720) pixels per frame. Thus, both require a similar amount of computing power to render. Thus a game running at 720p@60fps will run about 50fps in 1080i. I don't think it is too much to ask to have PS3 games display in 1080i when plugged into a CRT and 720p when plugged into flat panel display (e.g. LCD). This would cover most HDTV owners out there. So for someone like me who owns a 1080i CRT that does not support 720p the PS3 is a waste of money since it will display in 480p.

It is not so much a resource issue as a compatibility/support issue. They should have demanded from developers that all games support 480p, 720p, and 1080i and that the unit can display all those three resolutions. As a comparison, Microsoft has required that developers support 720p and 1080i.

Anyway, it looks like Sony learned their lesson, so lets hope that all future games will support 1080i.

 

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