Sony has integrated a website filter into its latest PlayStation 3 firmware. But while use of the utility is optional and, for now, free, neither the console giant nor its security partner, Trend Micro, are saying how much they'll demand from user whene the free-use period ends next April.
Trend claimed the site blocker, which is part of PS3 firmware version 2.0, posted last week, is the world’s first global internet security service games console.
The module, it said, is designed to protect gamers from malicious and harmful websites by checking requested web pages against Trend's URL databases, which classify sites into categories such as crime, illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
If users choose to activate the filtering service, which is accessed through the PS3’s internet browser, they must select a password. If a blocked website is then accessed, users can enter their password to view the site.
Trend's service is free to use until April 2008, it said. Bizarrely, however, it was unable to say how much it will demand PS3 owners cough up after that date if they want to carry on using the service, perhaps to keep inappropriate content away from their kids.
Trend told Register Hardware the pricing structure has yet to be worked out with Sony, but suggested details should be made public in mid-December.