Sony has issued the full list of features that'll be found in this week's PS3 firmware update 1.60, that'll arrive March 22nd. As you may have heard, users will be able to participate in the [email protected] program created by Stanford University. Stanford will benefit users connecting to their network as they use the network of the PS3's to conduct simulations, in attempt to cure various diseases and cancers. This operation will not affect your PS3's functionality in any which way and it's a good cause to sign up for.
You'll now be able to download up to six things at a time, and the first form of background downloading has been enabled. While you download, you won't be able to play a game or movie, but you will be able to do everything else with your PS3 as you wait for the downloads to finish. We expect Sony to enable downloads during gameplay soon.
Additional support for bluetooth keyboard and mice has been added too. And on top of that, you're no longer forced to use the limited type- pad that Sony's been using on the PSP and PS3. You can now use a full, standard, on-screen QWERTY keyboard, in addition to the current one. The web browser will be able to zoom in further on a page for proper display performance, and even a feature that'll reduce flickering when you're running in interlaced modes (480i or 1080i). Very cool.
Finally, Sony also gives a quick list of the following features in 1.6:
Remote Play — This feature, enabling you to access photos, videos, and music on your PS3 system's hard drive from a nearby PSP system, will be available for the 20GB [PS3], when utilizing an external Wi-Fi router or local wireless access point.
Disc Auto-Start — This new option under System Settings allows you to choose whether or not a disc should start automatically upon inserting the disc or turning on your PS3 system.
Blu-ray Disc Rewriteable (BD-RE) — PS3 system can now playback BD-RE discs (version 3.0).
"PS3 is constantly evolving with new features that keep the system at the cutting edge, thus unlocking its full potential," said Peter Dille, senior vice president of marketing, SCEA. "This upcoming firmware update not only delivers capabilities that gamers are asking for, such as enhanced downloading, it also enables us to tap into the PS3 community for the [email protected] project, leveraging the power of PS3's technology and the ever-expanding reach of our user base to help researchers find cures for diseases."