New PlayStation Store opens next week

Remember the queues for PS3? You'll not have to queue for the new-look online store, which launches next week

Word on the official US PlayStation blog is that the latest PS3 firmware update, version 2.30, is due to launch next week, featuring a fully revamped PlayStation Store.

SCEE has just sent word that the new look PlayStation Store will be launching on 15th April. You can see a video demo featuring Grace Chen on the US PlayStation site which gives you an idea of the new look and feel of the store.

Editor of PSM3 magazine, Daniel Dawkins told us he was: "Yet to get hands-on with the new store, but the old store was a clunky dog. This update is far better looking, and more importantly, functional - with handy Preview abilities, and alphabetical searching etc. Sony commitment to improving PS3's core experience continues to impress with each firmware update. And from what we know, the *really* good stuff is yet to come."

Better movie audio

Eric Lempel, director, PlayStation Network Operations also reports that "the system software update will also add DTS-HD Master Audio output for Blu-ray videos, which means the high-definition visuals of Blu-ray will now be matched with the highest quality audio for the ultimate movie-watching experience on PS3."

DTS-HD Master Audio is described as being "literally bit-for-bit identical to the studio master recording and makes movie soundtracks and sound effects truly come to life". It delivers audio at the incredibly high rate of 24.5 Mbps on Blu-ray disc, a massive improvement on standard DVDs.

Lempel adds: "DTS-HD Master Audio also offers 7.1 audio channels at 96k sampling frequency/24 bit depths, so you’ll be totally immersed in the sound. The firmware update will add DTS-HD High Resolution Audio as well, which is a similar output technology that requires less disc space. You can read more about both codecs here."

TechRadar will bring you our thoughts on the quality of the PS3’s improved Blu-ray audio as soon as the firmware launches next week.

Adam Hartley