Yesterday a Gamestop memo detailing a new PS3 model that would soon replace the 160GB currently on the market. What’s particularly interesting about this memo is that it implied Sony would be removing the ability to output HD content via component cables.
The memo, originally reported by Kotaku, named the new model the “K” chassis. From the image of the memo it appeared HD content for games or movies would require a HDMI cable. The actual text of the memo stated,
“The ‘K’ systems will come with an AV cable, however, if you want to play a game or watch a movie in high definition you must use an HDMI cable.”
The document went on to encourage employees to sell the HDMI cable alongside the console to increase add on sales. The memo also clearly states that older PS3 models will continue to support HD content via component and HDMI while future models will require HDMI for HD output.
Ars Technica contacted Sony for comment and they responded quickly that the report was inaccurate.
“The new CECH-3000 series PS3 requires HDMI only for BD movie output in HD, in compliance with AACS standards,” Sony said. “PS3 continues to support component output for HD gaming and streaming content.”
The image of the memo on Kotaku’s site clearly shows the line in which gaming and video content are both included but according to Sony you’ll be able to play your games in HD via component but not video. It’s most likely the document itself was in error because it does kind of make sense for Sony to restrict HD video content to HDMI only.
According to the Advanced Access Content System (a DRM standard), in 2014 all Blu-ray players will be required to have only HDMI ports as outputs. The standard clearly states that full resolution HD video requires HDMI or DVI that supports HDCP. It seems that Sony is taking an early step to make their device compliant with this particular standard. Either they make the change now, or they make the change in 2014. If they were already readying a new PS3 model it makes sense to comply with the AACS standard sooner rather than later.
For more information on why this is happening, check out our previous coverage on how copy protection is killing off component video.
Do any of you own older generation HD televisions that use component cables? If you don’t already own the console, does this change your decision to buy?