As final PlayStation 3 units continue to trickle into more and more hands, additional details about how the system works and what it can and can't do are hitting the web. The latest (rather major) tidbit is how the console treats the upscaling and downscaling of 720p titles on televisions that don't support that resolution -- specifically those that are only 1080i capable.
As it turns out, gamers who own older HD sets that feature only 480i, 480p, and 1080i resolution input capabilities will have to settle for the display quality being downsized as the game boots in its 480p mode rather than upscaling the image from its more desirable 720p mode to the TV's 1080i. IGN tested this development on older HDTV sets with games designed for 720p but not 1080i -- Resistance: Fall of Man, NHL 2K7, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07, and Need for Speed Carbon. Sure enough, the system downshifted all four titles to 480p rather than moving up to 1080i.
The PlayStation 3's competitor, Microsoft's Xbox 360, does upscale 720p games to 1080i if the HD set supports the latter resolution but not the in-between and commonly-employed 720p resolution.