Sony announces details of new PS3 firmware, still no in game XMB

by: Chuck -
The new version of the PS3 firmware is due out next week and the big new feature is the addition of DTS-HD audio which provides a new level of audio for Blu Ray movies (assuming you have the receiver that can decode the signal).  The patch will also include the new Playstation store which gets a major overhaul.  The crappy web based interface is now gone in favor of a local application which will hopefully work a bit better.  Here's a video walk through of the new store which shows off all the new features.  It's still not quite as good looking as Xbox Live's Marketplace but it's certainly a step in the right direction.

From Crackle: PlayStation Store video walkthrough
Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today announced that the next system software update for PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™) system, slated for release next week, will add DTS-HD Master Audio™ and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, enabling consumers to enjoy Blu-ray movies with studio-quality, high-definition audio. The technologies, from DTS, Inc. (NASDAQ: DTSI), provide PS3 users with the complete high-definition Blu-ray movie experience, matching the format’s crisp visuals with rich, lifelike sound. In addition to the new audio capabilities, the free system software update (v. 2.30) will allow PS3 owners to access the revamped PLAYSTATION®Store, as previously announced.

DTS-HD Master Audio brings Blu-ray movies on PS3 to life, delivering everything from explosive sound effects to intricate orchestral scores with pure, high-quality audio that is bit-for-bit identical to the original studio master. DTS-HD Master Audio has the capacity to deliver audio at the incredibly high variable rate of 24.5 mega-bits per second (Mbps) on Blu-ray disc, a rate significantly higher than standard DVDs. DTS-HD Master Audio also offers 7.1 audio channels at 96k sampling frequency/24 bit depths. More than 100 Blu-ray movies and concert videos featuring premium DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks are available.

Additionally, the DTS-HD High Resolution Audio codec allows content creators to deliver uncompromised, high-definition audio on Blu-ray, while requiring less disc space than DTS-HD Master Audio. DTS-HD High Resolution Audio streams audio at a high constant bit rate of 6.0 Mbps on Blu-ray discs, and is also capable of up to 7.1 audio channels at 96k sampling frequency/24 bit depth resolution, thereby producing outstanding sound quality.

Beyond enhancing PS3’s audio capabilities, installing the latest system software update will also enable users to seamlessly access the new, more dynamic interface and enhanced navigation of the PLAYSTATION Store. As part of a revamp, the PLAYSTATION Store will transition from an integrated online storefront to an application living natively on PS3, enabling customers to more easily and quickly locate and purchase games, and download demos, game videos, Blu-ray movie trailers and other game-related content for PS3.

These updates further demonstrate how the future-proof PS3 continues to evolve as a gaming and home entertainment system with the flexibility to deliver the newest technology innovations without requiring further investment from consumers. For additional details and instructions on how to update the PS3 system software, please visit http://www.us.playstation.com.
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