Yesterday, a rumor had started spreading throughout the Internet over the possibility of Sony changing the way that some people watch High-definition movies on their PlayStation 3’s. The news came from an internal GameStop communication, where the new model in question — codenamed Model “K” — would replace existing 160GB models in their stores.
Today, Sony has confirmed the change but clarified that the updated hardware is a result of compliance with the AACS Final Adaptor Agreement – not willingly removing features.
Essentially, the AASC (Advance Access Content System) Agreement simply states that devices restrict analog outputs to 960 x 540 – to prevent recording from analog capture devices. So in full, the change isn’t exactly a cost-cutting measure, or a way to get money out of new customers, but simply to conform to standards.
Responding to an inquiry by Ars Technica Sony stated:
“The new CECH-3000 series PS3 requires HDMI only for BD movie output in HD, in compliance with AACS standards. PS3 continues to support component output for HD gaming and streaming content.”
However, what’s interesting is that the rule didn’t actually come into effect until December of 2010 – affecting PS3 units sold and created after that date. That means that if your console is a few years old, Sony cannot force a firmware that removes the feature through software.
This isn’t the first time that we have seen Sony switch things up with their PS3’s, first removing their backwards compatibility – not to mention the uproar that come along with the removal of OtherOS. Yet this is the first time that they have actually had to remove or update their software, thanks to a law (and a law that they helped design no less).
It will be interesting to see how consumers take this little change, as most high-definition televisions allow for plenty of space for multiple HDMI-ready connections and attachments. It may be that it will go unnoticed.
Now, if it was a complete refit and update… this could have been a whole different story.