Sony has announced a new standalone Blu-ray player, the BDP-S470, which will receive a firmware upgrade in the summer to make it 3D compatible.
At CES 2010, Sony announced its first 3D Blu-ray player, the BDP-S770, but that won't be the only 3D-capable standalone Blu-ray player from Sony this year. Wednesday, Sony announced the BDP-S470, a midrange Blu-ray player that's slated to get a firmware update in the summer to make it 3D capable. In addition, the company announced that three previously announced products--the BDV-E770W, BDV-E570, and BDP-S570--will be getting the same 3D upgrade.
Aside from the 3D upgrade, the BDP-S470 looks to be very close to its predecessor, the BDP-N460, offering a full suite of streaming media services (Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, Slacker, YouTube), along with standard Blu-ray playback functionality. The press release also states that Pandora will be added to the Sony Bravia Internet video platform in the spring; we're still trying to confirm if that update will be available to existing products like the BDP-N460.
We were also able to confirm with Sony that the new players capable of getting the 3D upgrade will, at the very least, "support the HDMI 1.4 spec for full HD 3D." Sony hasn't been able to confirm whether the new players will support the full HDMI 1.4 spec, which includes more esoteric features like an inline Ethernet channel. The bottom line is that full 1080p 3D will be supported. (A Sony rep at CES 2010 told us that the PS3--which has an HDMI 1.3 output--will support full 1080p 3D, but we're skeptical of that claim since others, most notably Panasonic, claim that full resolution 1080p 3D requires HDMI 1.4. For more 3D info, check out CNET's 3D TV FAQ.)
As others have pointed out, Sony's current pricing scheme leaves the BDP-S470 only $20 more expensive than the step-down BDP-S370, which will not be getting the 3D upgrade. Twenty dollars seems like a cheap price to future-proof your Blu-ray player in case you ever want to go 3D in the future and we wouldn't be surprised if the BDP-S370 gets a price cut soon to further differentiate the models.