When Blu-ray was battling HD-DVD for high definition supremacy, Sony sided with Blu-ray, going as far as integrating the Blu-ray format into its newest gaming console, the PlayStation 3. It was a very good decision given that Blu-ray came out on top and Sony was left with possibly the best Blu-ray player on the market.
One reason it is considered the best is the PlayStation's expansion capability. The PlayStation you purchased six months ago will not be the same one six months from now. Via downloadable software updates, or firmware, the PlayStation 3 can gain new features and functionality all with the touch of a button. New and advanced features are seemingly being introduced every week for the Blu-ray player and the Blu-ray format. Its BD-Live technology is growing and promises to widely expand the movie viewing experience through online content, becoming interactive and featuring text chat and live commentary. With its all-powerful internal processor, large hard drive, and great technical support, the PlayStation 3 will be first in line to take advantage of the technology and add all of these new features.
There is some speculation that Blu-ray will soon be surpassed by online digital media. If this does prove to be correct, the PlayStation 3 will be ready. Sony has already built in digital services into the PlayStation Network. You can download high definition movies and TV shows with a high speed Internet connection. PlayStation has also recently joined forces with Netflix, so online media services such as movie streaming are available.
One of the biggest trends in filmmaking right now is 3D. And to take advantage of all the 3D HDTVs that will be be launched in the spring and summer; Sony will be releasing their 3D update to all PlayStation 3 consoles within the next few weeks. Nainan Shah, Vice-President of New Platform Panning and Development at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, said, "PS3 users worldwide will only need to upgrade the PS3 system software via the Internet and there is no need to repurchase the system to enjoy 3D games.”
Of course, Sony is also working with the Blu-ray Disc Association to release 3D Blu-ray movies and players. PlayStation 3 owners will not have to invest in purchasing any new equipment; they will just have to update their system once 3D support becomes available, making the PS3 one of the first 3D players on the market. And there are likely to be more adaptions to come in the future, making an initial investment of $300 seem all the more prudent.