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Sony have just announced a slew of new features for the next PlayStation 3 firmware update, chief amongst them BD-Live (the much talked about 2.0 spec), a way to expand the interactivity of Blu-ray titles by allowing downloadable video content, ringtones and even games.

Vice president of product marketing Scott A. Steinberg had this to say of the announcement, “With Blu-ray established as the high-definition optical disc standard, more consumers are ready to jump in and take advantage of everything the format offers.”

The update is expected to hit sometime before the end of March according to Sony, but no release date for Firmware 2.20 has been announced at the time of writing. Anyway, here's what you can also expect to find in this update once it goes live in the next few days.

"Resume play" will enable PS3 to start playing a BD and DVD video at the point it was stopped, even if the disc had been removed.*

"Audio Output Device" will be a new Remote Play setting, enabling PSP to serve as a remote control for music played through PS3.

PS3's Internet browser will be enhanced: Video files directly linked from a Web page will be able to be streamed, and the browser's view speed will be improved.

DivX and WMV format videos that are larger than 2GB will be playable.

"Mosquito Noise Reduction" will be added as an AV setting in the control panel of the DVD/BD player for improved movie playback.**

Updated information (24/03/08):

"Portable Copy" which will allow users to download a standard-definition copy of Blu-ray movies to the PlayStation Portable.***

* BD-J format disc is not supported.
** BD discs recorded with BDMV format are not supported.
*** Not coming with the 2.20 firmware, but a later release instead.

Sony Announces BD-Live for PS3

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