Sony upgrades PlayStation 3 firmware

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Sony upgrades PlayStation 3 firmware

Version 1.60 features Folding@home connectivity and enhanced downloading.

As the first PlayStation 3 units begin flying off the shelves in Europe on Friday, Sony Computer Entertainment America will release the next regular system software update for the console.

Version 1.60 of the software will deliver features such as Folding@home connectivity, enhanced downloading of content from the online store, support for Bluetooth keyboards and mice, and an optional Qwerty on-screen keyboard.

Folding@home will allow users to connect to Stanford University's distributed computing project aimed at understanding protein folding, misfolding and related diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and many cancers.

The PlayStation 3 system can perform computer simulations for the Folding@home programme 20-30 times faster than the average home PC.

PlayStation 3 users will also be able to queue up to six downloads at one time. Progress can be tracked under a new Download Management menu under the XMB's Network icon.

In addition, content can be downloaded in the background while using some PlayStation 3 system features, such as accessing the XMB to display videos and photos from the system's hard drive, playing music and browsing the web.

Text Entry and Web Browsing Firmware 1.60 will also support keyboards and mice enabled with Bluetooth.

Text entry is further expanded with the option to use a full Qwerty on-screen keyboard, in addition to the existing single tap keyboard.

The system's built-in web browser will be enhanced with the ability to zoom in to the optimal viewing size for the selected area of a web page at the press of a button, and will feature an optional tool for reducing flicker when the PS3 is using interlaced video out (480i or 1080i).

"PlayStation 3 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 at Sony Computer Entertainment America.

"This upcoming firmware update not only delivers capabilities that gamers are asking for, such as enhanced downloading, but enables us to tap into the PS3 community for the Folding@home project."
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