PS3 Firmware 3.50 Gives Some, Takes Some

3D blu-ray USB Firmware

For those who jumped on the home-3D bandwagon already, you might be pleased that the latest firmware (3.50) for the PS3 enables Blu-ray 3D disc playback. But you should know it comes at a cost too, most notably in regards to sound and USB devices.

In regards to sound, when Dolby TrueHD is selected as the audio format, audio will be output in Dolby Digital during playback of Blu-ray 3D content. When DTS-HD is selected as the audio format, audio will be output in DTS during playback of Blu-ray 3D content. Regarding USB devices, and perhaps as a side effect of Sony discovering and disabling counterfit PS3 controllers, many users are reporting their USB devices, including some third-party controllers, are no longer working after updating to 3.50. This includes a few controllers from Mad Catz, among others.

While I understand Sony is trying to protect consumers from unsafe controllers, I would also guess they want to protect their revenue stream from allowing "licensed" controllers to be made for the system, and by selling their own official controllers. And while I think it would stink to have a third-party controller or other USB device you know and love no longer work on your PS3, my guess would be that Sony will not be changing things to allow unofficial USB products to work with the system. The problem I see, however, is whether Sony can do that while allowing all licensed and legitimate products to continue to work.

But aside from the USB issues, I would be most upset by the aspect of the update that downgrades your audio when playing 3D Blu-ray discs, if I owned the necessary gear. I would imagine most people who do own a 3D-capable TV are really into having the latest and greatest technology in all aspects of their home-theater set up, including audio. Maybe I am wrong here, but I would guess people are not too excited to learn that while they can now watch 3D Blu-ray discs on their PS3s, doing so means a drop in audio quality. But on the other hand, it is petty cool how Sony was able to provide 3D Blu-ray disc support to the PS3 via an update, and owners of the system are not required to get a new Blu-ray player to experience 3D Blu-ray discs.

What do you Ranters think? Have any of you been impacted by updating to 3.50? Are any of you with 3D TVs -- or plans to purchase one -- made angry by the audio loss when watching 3D Blu-ray discs? Let us know in the comments.

Sources: 1UP, Kotaku

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