On Thursday, March 22, the Sony PlayStation 3 will be getting a much-anticipated upgrade to its system software. The 1.60 update will add the ability to queue downloads for background processing, rather than the arduous “wait and pray” download method that the console currently offers.
You’ll be able to queue up to six files for download at once, and can continue to use many features (not gameplay, though [UPDATE: According to 1UP, it sounds like downloads may actually continue during offline games.]) while your files download.
In addition to the downloading improvements, the 1.60 system upgrade will add a variety of other enhancements:
- Folding@home: Provides PS3 owners with a way to donate processing cycles to Stanford University’s medical research projects (the PS3 is said to process these simulations about 20x to 30x faster than a typical PC, so it could really make an impact here)
- Text Entry and Web Browsing Improvements: Addition of a full QWERTY on-screen keyboard; Better zoom capabilities in the web browser; Reduced text flicker on interlaced monitors
- Remote Play: Access photos, videos and music from your nearby Sony PSP via Wi-Fi
- Disc Auto-Start: Ability to set a preference of whether or not your discs should automatically start when inserted
- Compatibility with Blu-ray Disc Rewritable (BD-RE) disks
While waiting for PS3 updates to download is never fun, I do have to say I admire Sony for making such frequent improvements to their console. More details on PlayStation 3 system updates can be found here.