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Notes on PS3’s Firmware 1.8

Hey folks. Now that we’ve seen the big news about Firmware 1.8 for our black PS3 boxes, we’ve had time to digest the news. Did anything strike you as interesting, or something to be wary of? For me, there were a couple things:

  1. A reader (Jason) pointed out that you can now copy savegames from your PS3 back onto your PS2 memory card using the memory card adapter. This was a major criticism of the PS2 – PS3 back-and-forth story, and now it’s been addressed.
  2. If you go into the menus and take a look at the upscaling options for PS2/PS1 games and for DVD’s, they are anything but intuitive. I’m going to have to look them up to see what they do.
  3. Upscaling a DVD, while a nice feature, isn’t really that big a deal unless your HDTV is crappy at it. Your HDTV upscales all input resolutions to its own native resolution anyway, so what does it matter if the PS3 does it or your HDTV does? It only matters if the PS3 does a noticeably better job at it. Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t try it. But I honestly don’t expect to see a big difference. The story for PS1/PS2 games is different – take a look at these screenshots.
  4. The update includes the ability to output Blu-ray movies at 24 FPS. This is great news for all you videophiles out there who want to avoid all that pulldown nonsense and have a display with a refresh rate that is a multiple of 24. (Unfortunately, that’s not me. 🙁 )
  5. I haven’t tried TwonkyMedia yet because I was at my weekly games night last night. (We played Xbox 360 Burnout and Guitar Hero, as well as the really good card game San Juan, in case you’re wondering.) But reports are that it may not be able to support the AAC format, which would be very disappointing.
  6. Unfortunately, here at work we use a wireless security protocol not supported by the PSP. 🙁 So I can’t stream music (or whatever) from home to here at work. I’m just a wee bit disappointed.

Any other thoughts?

Update: According to someone over a HD Engadget:

  1. The PS3 can now downscale BD (1080p) movies to 720p. (Wait a sec. Didn’t it already do this?)
  2. Blacker-than-Black (BTB) and Whiter-than-White (WTW) support with (full range/limited) the BTB has been confirmed by DVE
  3. HQV DVD test and the PS3 1.80 firmware passes ALL tests!! Cadence, interlacing, artifacting, you name it, it passed!!!

Information is from this PS3 thread at AVSForums.

Update 2: Someone shows off their installation of Vista seeing the PS3, and vice versa:

PS3 1.8 firmware streams music, photos, and video from Vista

More screenshots of same:

Sony PS3 Firmware 1.8 Screen Shots Surface

Update 3: There’s also a new photo slideshow mode that’s supposed to be pretty good.

Update 4: Here’s a link that shows off the upscalling and smoothing feature for PS1 and PS2 games:

PS3 Upscaling Comparisons