Warning: a truly awful pun awaits you at the end of this post.
In updating the software development kit for PS3 developers, Sony has enabled scaling functionality that was previously thought to be non-existent in the base hardware. An interesting and rather technical article at Beyond3D
explains how Sony has enabled developers to combat the image downscaling issues that has been known to affect owners of certain HD televisions. If you recall, the PS3 had previously been unable to upscale resolutions
(like the Xbox 360's Ana chip
) from 720p to display on 1080i-only televisions, instead downscaling images
to a less impressive 480p.
Though Sony's solution is far from complete, Beyond3D notes that the latest SDK implements hardware accelerated horizontal scaling. It's still up to developers to take the feature all the way, but the enhancement already decreases the memory footprint left by less elegant upscaling techniques. It might appear that a secret piece of hardware is slowly being "unlocked" here, but a more likely explanation is simply that Sony is slowly but surely tweaking their development software (and the way it utilizes the existing PS3 hardware) to enable proper scaling functionality in lieu of an obvious and dedicated scaler chip.
It will likely become mandatory for upcoming games to support this new hardware scaling solution; older games like Resistance
may eventually see a patch implementing better scaling. More information will surface as tech sites analyze and contribute to this report, but it's nonetheless reassuring to see Sony being mindful of the problem and taking action to brush off that chip on their solder.