Sony has announced the release of PS3 system update version 4.30, which will bring a few user interface changes and kick a prestigious project to the curb.
Stanford University's distributed computing project Folding@Home will no longer be supported as the Life with PlayStation application will no longer be offered with the latest update.
The PS3 supported protein folding simulations over the past five years as part of an effort to find cures for medical conditions such as Alzheimer's Disease, or Type II Diabetes. Back in 2007, when the program was introduced on PlayStation, the game console offered tremendous floating point processing power to drive Folding@Home simulations, but developments have given new GPUs the lead. Statistically, the PS3 is ranked well behind the performance capability of ATI and Nvidia graphics processors. At FAHcon 2012, scientists published some numbers showing just how far computing performance has come since the project's beginnings.
Given the long-standing partnership, the cutoff was rather quick and effective. Both Folding@Home and Sony restricted themselves to rather short statements with the usual thank you speech and a conclusion of achievements. Stanford's project leader Vijay Pande referred to "numerous successes in recent years" that could lead to drug development. Of course, the successes were not only due to Sony's participation and Pande was quick to remove references of Sony's support from the Folding@Home website.
The 4.30 system update also changes the way trophies are displayed in the XMB. The trophy level progress is now being displayed, along with trophies that have been earned when playing on the Vita.