Are Sony's PS3 firmware updates morphing into glorified publicity stunts? It's a question worth asking. Since the PS3 arrived in November 2006, Sony's issued 34 updates to its glossy micro-tower – a remarkable number for a console* – each a grab bag of bug fixes and feature fills. Menus increasingly swell the XMB's verticals. System stability is indeterminately "improved" and Linux "hacks" are blocked. Formats arrive unceremoniously, sending users clambering over the river and through the woods in search of explanations for jargon like XviD, RTMP, BD-J, AVCHD, and Blu-ray BD-Live Profile 2.0.