Sony launches Life with PlayStation

New service provides live weather and news updates for 60 cities around the world, integrated with Folding@home project.

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This generation of gaming consoles has seen a wealth of innovations become standard features for systems, from downloadable demos to wireless controllers. One such addition that was perhaps not as fervently called for by gamers is that of live global news and weather updates, but Nintendo updated the Wii shortly after launch with the News Channel and Weather Channel, and now Sony is adding similar features to the PlayStation 3.

Later today, Sony will launch Life with PlayStation, a free PS3 utility that gives users a 3D view of the globe, with cloud imagery, weather information, and localized news feeds. To provide all that information to users, Sony is relying on partnerships with the University of Wisconsin-Madison for cloud imagery, The Weather Channel for weather, Google News for stories, and The Earth Television Network for live webcam images of dozens of cities.

The online service is integrated with the Folding@home distributed computing program already available for download on PS3s. As Sony Computer Entertainment America R&D head Noam Rimon explained on the PlayStation blog, "this means that while you're taking a stroll on Life with PlayStation, you're automatically helping Stanford University to work towards curing diseases such as Alzheimer's and various types of cancers."

Life with PlayStation's feature set will expand in the future, as Sony said it plans "a wide variety of interactive content and channels" for the service. To download Life with PlayStation, users simply need to click on the Folding@home logo on the system's desktop menu.

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