This month, Sony introduced a slimmer, $299 PlayStation 3 and lowered the price of existing units. This is noteworthy for home video enthusiasts because it makes the gaming system a premiere choice for anyone buying a quality Blu-ray player. For about a year, the PlayStation 3's upgradeability and versatility made it the best Blu-ray player even for non-gamers. As the Blu-ray format settled in, it became less attractive because standalone players became cheaper and the likelihood of a major upgrade became less likely. Even $399 was reasonable because of its ability to serve as an all-in-one movie player, gaming system and music and photo storage system. But once Blu-ray players dropped into the $200 range, it became difficult to recommend the PS3 to folks who only wanted a movie machine. At $299, however, the PS3 has moved back to the forefront of Blu-ray players.
- It's only $150 more than even the cheapest standalone Blu-ray players.
- It's still the most upgradeable system on the market.
- It's a great gaming system.
- It can be used to store and play photos, music and videos.
- It's still more expensive than the least-expensive standalone units.
- The PlayStation uses Bluetooth technology for its remote controls, meaning it can't be controlled by standard universal remotes.
Buyer BewareWhen Sony announced its slim PlayStation 3 would sell for $299, it also reduced the cost of existing $399 units by $100. I don't, however, suggest buying one of the older systems unless the price drops again. The new system has a larger hard drive, making it the better choice.
Photo © Sony.