Aside from sparkly background support and an expanded XMB interface, we've yet to point-2 many of the smaller differences between the PlayStation 3's 2.8-version firmware and its latest 3.0 update. Thankfully, we have the internet for that, and it's given us some new pedantic comparison videos to mull over and possibly dispute!

Youtube user "PS3slimComparison" has documented console startup times, Blu-ray launch times and video game loading times on his PS3 Slim, first equipped with Firmware 2.8, and then Firmware 3.0. Waiting times appear to be shorter with 3.0 (and who doesn't want to get into Arkham Asylum as fast as possible?), but we were curious to discover if there would be a notable speed improvement on a 60GB PS3 with the latest software. Based on our informally derived test results (see them after the break), the answer appears to be a curt "no." It's possible that 3.0 is tailored to take advantage of the Slim's newer hardware, excluding longtime owners from any supposed speed gains.

Speculation aside, we were shocked to find just how much quicker 3.0 is when it comes to Uncharted -- on 2.8, the game takes forever to freeze.

[Via PlayStation forums; thanks, Garrett]
Original PS3 test times:
Batman: Arkham Asylum stage load (2.8): 27.3 seconds
Batman: Arkham Asylum stage load (3.0): 27.1 seconds

Ridge Racer 7 race load (no install) (2.8): 23.5 seconds
Ridge Racer 7 race load (no install) (3.0): 24 seconds

Uncharted initial load (2.8): 39.4 seconds
Uncharted initial load (3.0): 40.3 seconds

Wipeout HD race load (2.8): 16.8 seconds
Wipeout HD race load (3.0): 16.8 seconds

Zen Pinball Shaman table load (2.8): 29.1 seconds
Zen Pinball Shaman table load (3.0): 32.3 seconds

Slim PS3 test:

This article was originally published on Joystiq.