How much do you want to bet the Sony Playstation 3 1080i problem can’t be patched?

If you have a HDTV incapable of projecting 720p – only 480i/p, 1080i – which is pretty much the majority of HDTV buyers out there, Sony Playstation 3 games look like utter crap.  The video is rendered in memory in 720p but since your monitor can’t do 720p, it downgrades the video quality to 480p and sends it out the component cables where your TV upscales the video to 1080i.

Sony, with their typical arrogance, muttered something about people having "outdated" TVs.  What?  Try telling that to a guy who bought a Mitsubishi Diamond DLP Projection 75" Big Screen HDTV for $10,000, and that’s before the 5:1 Bose Surround sound system. 

To quote my friend, "F-ck you very much, Sony."

To recify the problem, some product manager blurted out that they’d be somehow patching the Sony Playstation 3 with a firmware upgrade to allow the Sony Playstation 3 to upscale video from 720p to 1080i in memory before it gets sent to the component out.  I read this and I said to myself, "They’re gonna do this, real-time, in software?  No dedicated hardware or chips to rapidly convert the content?  Seriously?" 

As I understand it, the Xbox 360 renders most games in memory at 720p then uses HARDWARE (chips) to upscale the video to 1080i/p in real time so there’s no latency.  So to anticipate that the box will do this in software is pretty questionable.  Yeah, yeah, yeah… they’ve got the glorious Cell processors and all that jazz but again, for one of these processor to do the job of something a specialized chip does on the Xbox 360… is highly unlikely.

Then this came out.

SCEA Comments on PS3 Resolution on Older HDTVs
Sony has contacted us to let us know that they may have spoken a bit prematurely. SCEA’s Dave Karraker, Sr. Director, Corporate Communications, informed GameDaily BIZ that they currently cannot confirm that this 1080i issue will be resolved via a firmware patch. The official line is now that they are "looking into the issue and haven’t stated any actions that will be taken regarding it."

To me, this close to the other shoe dropping.  Having to hedge your bets through a statement to the public and saying that, "we’re not sure that we’re going to have a solution that will allow you to upgrade your existing purchase," creates doubt in the mind of consumers.  The fact that they’re willing to risk this tells me that:

  1. They really aren’t sure they can do this or if it’ll work.
  2. They are hoping this will somehow wash over wihle people still clamor to get a PS3.

How much do you want to bet that they never get this problem solved… until they start shipping new consoles with the issue fixed in hardware?

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