PS3 system software v2.30, with revamped PS Store, is here

PS3 owners have been complaining about the PlayStation Store for practically the console’s entire lifespan so far, nearly seventeen months in North America. The interface was serviceable, but any acclaim ended there; navigating through the web-based store was slow and unintuitive. It’s been a long time coming, but Sony has finally remedied our concerns with today’s v2.30 update, which installs the updated PS Store as a native XMB application.

According to a tipster, the update went live as early as 1:05 AM EDT, which is an hour earlier than the time that Sony originally gave us. As for me, I stopped folding proteins and downloaded the update just after 2 AM (it took three and a half minutes or so). I installed it as soon as the download finished, and that process took all of about two and a half minutes. Here’s the entire laundry list of features included in the system software update, copied straight from my TV screen just before installation:

Main Features Revised in System Software Version 2.30

PLAYSTATION®Store has been updated.
Usability has been improved for a more enjoyable shopping experience.

As you can see, there was nary a mention of the DTS-HD MA and DTS-HD HR audio compatibility that Sony also included; I guess it just wasn’t enough of a “main feature” to be explicitly stated in the list.

Anyway, the new-look PS Store is absolutely fantastic. It now has pretty audio cues for every “click”, including opening up the store! Browsing is a breeze; most pages take less than a second to load, although most of the icons for the items themselves don’t show up for a while (up to 15 seconds in some cases). In addition, many of the thumbnails aren’t displaying correctly at the moment; you’ll see numerous “missing image” placeholders instead. But again, the overall “shopping experience” is indeed more enjoyable — you’ll quickly find yourself wondering how you ever survived with the old store.

[tips courtesy of Jasson Andrade and Jason Beson — thanks, guys!]

Samit Sarkar