Report: New PS3s Killing HD Component Cable Support
The days of users connecting their PlayStation 3 to their HDTVs via component cables may soon be over, according to a report today from Kotaku.
An alleged internal GameStop memo leaked to the site by an unnamed source suggests that the newest PlayStation 3 hardware will remove high-definition support over component cables and instead require users to use an HDMI connection. The memo identifies the new hardware as "PS3 K chassis," which could potentially be the North American equivalent of the revised models reportedly being released in Japan, which were said to lessen power consumption and add new security measures for Blu-ray playback.
If true, both games and Blu-ray discs will only be viewable in high-definition when used with an HDMI cable.
Why would Sony suddenly drop component HD support now?
Users on the popular gaming forum, NeoGaf, suggest it could be a result of a recent mandate made by the Advanced Access Content System (AACS), the consortium that administrates the copyright protections standards used for Blu-ray discs.
The most recent version of the AACS' Adopter Agreement requires any officially licensed Blu-ray player manufactured after December 31, 2010 must limit HD support to digital output only. While component output can still be used, it would only be allowed to output standard definition 480i signals.
Interestingly, the AACS also requires licensees (i.e. Blu-ray player manufacturers) to cease support for analog video output of any kind by December 31, 2013. In other words, component, S-video, and composite video support will be eliminated entirely within the next two years. Obviously the standardization of HDMI connectivity on most or all recent audio/visual products will limit the impact for users, but it's an interesting turn of events nonetheless.
Whether the AACS mandates have spurred the alleged changes to new versions of the PlayStation 3, it remains to be seen. We've contacted Sony for comment, so stay tuned for updates.
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