1.60 firmware update would add the much requested background downloading function, and we'd heard rumors that background downloading wouldn't work while gaming, but thanks to a press release from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (we hear they've got something going on this week), it looks like the system will be able to download stuff while you're playing games. Apparently, the system will allow you to queue up six pieces of content from the PlayStation Store while using other functions of the system, notably playing games and watching videos (Blu-ray?). These downloads can be tracked using a new "Download Management" menu under the XMB's Network icon. While at first you may think the ability to just queue up downloads while gaming doesn't necessarily mean those downloads will proceed, IGN confirmed with Sony that "you'll be able to play games offline while downloads work in the background, and if you hop online your queue will simply pause until you disconnect." We'll be sure to test out the functionality tomorrow when 1.60 drops.
[Via PS3 Fanboy]