Multi-tasking PS3 next March

A substantial update to PlayStation 3's firmware will finally give the console's XMB (cross media bar) the ability to multitask, Phil Harrison has revealed to attendees of a recent Sony seminar.

Currently the PS3 becomes all but inoperative while downloading new media such as demos or film clips, with only a download progress bar to keep you entertained.

Harrison did not reveal the full scale of the XMB's new ability, but it would be absurd if the update didn't give PS3 the same impressive powers as Xbox Live's Active Downloads system, which is able to stream a download while you play games, watch movies or even turn off the console, picking up where it left off when power is restored.

Other additions will include new display options, animation options during audio playback and photo album options. A PSP remote access feature is also planned, enabling you to access PS3 content - presumably limited to movies and game clips.

December 14, 2006

Ben Richardson is a former Staff Writer for Official PlayStation 2 magazine and a former Content Editor of GamesRadar+. In the years since Ben left GR, he has worked as a columnist, communications officer, charity coach, and podcast host – but we still look back to his news stories from time to time, they are a window into a different era of video games.