Anti-virus company Trend Micro has released new software for the PlayStation 3, designed to protect it and its users from harmful and inappropriate websites.

Web Security for PlayStation 3, which launched earlier in November, will block malicious web pages when the PlayStation 3 is used for web browsing and will also give parents the ability to lock out inappropriate websites based on a variety of criteria, ranging from tobacco use to sex and violence. The software will work by accessing Trend Micro’s proprietary databases to evaluate and categorize web pages, domains and IP addresses, filtering and blocking harmful material. According to Trend Micro, it’s the first anti-virus-type software ever created for a gaming console.

Some experts are questioning whether the software will see widespread adoption among game console consumers, however, suggesting that consoles are inherently less vulnerable than PCs and that the move may be premature. Daniel Ives, an analyst at Friedman Billings Ramsey, said, “I think the jury’s still out. Over the coming years, as the console becomes more common in terms of web browsing, that’s when you can really try to gauge what type of opportunity it is for the anti-virus vendors.”

Web Security for PlayStation 3 will be available on a trial basis until the end of April 2008, with details about pricing for a pay service to be announced when available. The software can be accessed worldwide via the PlayStation 3 version 2.00 system software update. More information is available at the Trend Micro website.

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