The so-called "first step" in a PlayStation-specific audio system will be released next week for $180, and you're looking at it. The "Surround Sound System," like most sound bars, mimics true surround sound through 2.1 audio channels (this one has an integrated sub). While the PlayStation-brand sound bar is compatible with other audio sources, its been designed to match the "PS3 system aesthetics" and features two gaming-specific modes, "Dialog" and "Night" (which enhances key sounds when the volume is turned down).

"The sound bar is the first step for us to develop an audio system that's specific to the PlayStation," Sony's David Murrant says somewhat curiously in a marketing spot for the system (embedded after the break). Of the Dialog sound mode, Murrant adds, "Often dialog is going to be key to knowing what the next stage for the game is or giving you clues."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.