We're not sure why exactly Nvidia chose to make the leap from version 197 to 256 for its latest drivers, but whatever, designation aside, the first beta release for the 256 driver-set is available now , and it includes a whole bunch of goodies.
Release 256 are the first drivers to incorporate Blu-ray 3D acceleration for the PC (see here for system requirements), just in time for the first 3D Blu-ray movie due out June 1st, Nvidia says. The new driver also includes new settings in the Nvidia Control Panel for 3-way SLI customers that enable 48x SLI Anti-aliasing (96x for 3-way GTX 400 series PCs).
You'll find a lot of buzz words accompanying Release 256, including CUDA 3.1 and OpenGL 4.0 support, as well as a new SLI and PhysX configuration page. What you won't find, however is support for Nvidia's 3D Vision Surround, which the GPU chip maker promises to include in the second release targeted for the end of June.
Driver Download (includes notebook platforms)
Image Credit: Nvidia