Sony has revealed details surrounding the PlayStation 3's upcoming firmware 1.6 system update, which is scheduled to go live on March 22, the day prior to the console's debut in both Europe and PAL territories.
The update, which will have to be downloaded from the console's PlayStation Network, will introduce a number of key enhancements to the PlayStation 3, not least of which will be background downloading, a feature demonstrated by Sony executive Phil Harrison during his recent GDC keynote
. But, as a report
by consumer website IGN points out, there will be some limitations to this feature, the details of which are not expected to be made available until the update's release.
The firmware update will also introduce additional PSP connectivity features to the PlayStation 3, allowing users the ability to access their PlayStation 3 console remotely using the PSP over Wi-Fi hotspots, rather than having to be physically connected to the console.
The new firmware will also add support for full-sized keyboards, a welcome upgrade for those wanting a solution other than the console's current mobile phone style of input.
Other enhancements will include updates to the console's web browser, which now can detect a user's video settings and modify the page's font size, and will include a 'pin-point zoom' feature to selectively magnify parts of a web page.
Finally, the 1.6 update will also bring the previously announced [email protected]
distributed computing project, which will be used to aid in calculations relating to the study of protein folding and protein folding diseases.