Sony today announced a firmware update to their PS3 that adds significant photo functionality to the popular PS3 gaming console.
The system software update 2.60 becomes available tomorrow and now offers a new Photo Gallery application allowing users to better manage, sort and control the presentation of their photos on their PS3s. With the new upgrade users will now be able to sort their photos by color, age, and even facial expressions like smiling. In a video demo of the new technology Sony shows how parents might, for instance, pull together photos on their unit only of their children smiling and then run these photos as a slide show.
In addition to the Photo Gallery, firmware 2.60 provides guest access to PlayStation Store, enabling non-PlayStation Network members to browse the storefrontís downloadable content, including games, game trailers, and demos, along with more than 4,200 movies and TV shows. The firmware upgrade also upgrades the PS3 systemís video capability to support DivX 3.11 media files.
I wonder at what point in the future we might see Netflix Watch Now on the Sony PS3.
It is interesting to me to see gaming consoles more and more becoming home media boxes. Both Sony with their PS3 and Microsoft with their XBox360 seem to be increasingly going after both the gaming market as well as the home media market including things like music, photos and video.
One thing that both Microsoft and Sony still seem to be missing though is natural integration with the photo sharing site Flickr. Viewing your own photos on your XBox 360 or PS3 is a nice thing to be able to do, but being able to better display and share photos between friends and family through an online platform like Flickr would make an even more memorable experience. Imagine if, for instance, my parents could automatically subscribe on a PS3 or XBox360 to all of my photos tagged with my kids names on Flickr. Or imagine if you could pull up all of the most interesting photos of Barcelona Spain before going there on a trip. Integrating the photo experience with the vast archives of both personal and online photos ought to be what both Microsoft and Sony should be working on.