If I can nudge the thread a bit back OT, I'm curious if any solid specs or insights into the blu-ray drive that will be used in the PS3 have emerged, and how the particular components differ from the set-top player Sony will release soon? No doubt the $1K standalone player will be superior in build quality and have some nice signal processing circuitry and such, but how different will the drive itself be, and how significantly different in PQ will the video output be...?
As for all the moaning about the PS3s price--I think it comes from folks who are insistent on looking at it as simply a game machine. And those who think $1K is just OUTRAGEOUS for a first-gen Blu-Ray player must be 15 years old or at the least were incognizant/out-of-the-loop when DVD launched in '97...that's what the first-gen DVD players cost, in '97 dollars (that'd be what in today's dollars, I wonder--$1300+?). It was several months later when Sony's $500 standalone player made its way to market (an S300, which I myself bought in the Fall of '08 and used until last Summer)--so, about an 8-mo delay before a solid and less expensive alternative was available. Some positing that a $300 Blu-Ray player will emerge on the heels of the PS3 are way off the mark. The Blu-Ray/HD-DVD ramp up will take a year at least to drop production costs enough to usher in a truly cheaper next gen series of product--THEY'RE ALL LOSING MONEY ON THE HARDWARE PRICED AS THEY ARE, FOLKS! I mean, are you familiar with Plasma HD sets and HDMI-equipped A/V receivers? These are still expensive and they're using technology years old...
The XBox 360 was built around existing, cheaper technology. Very solid, but essentially the HD-DVD add-on is just that, a window-dressing for an old-gen rather than truly next-gen box (the PowerPC main procs custom support sets notwithstanding). It does nothing a good Windows laptop can't do w/ Media Center 2005, as far as I can tell...they just bundle it at a loss because the vid game business model is to make the bank on the software and licensing.
Sony's gambit is to lauch the Blu-Ray format as the substrate/platform for a whole range of home entertainment products--initially at a rather large loss on the hardware (as is typical in the biz, see above). The PS3 is their trojan horse, a computer/player labelled a 'game machine' that has WiFi and broadband capabilities for content deliverables in HD to complement/augment the Blu-Ray format as the hub for HD entertainment of many types. So, if you think of the PS3 as a HTPC w/ extreme interactive features rather than a super-GameBoy then the price-point is obviously low-balling, not doomingly sky high as the clueless like to portend. This isn't PR
spin--its a read on the features and intentions of the device. You want a game machine only--buy a Wii (I might, that controller looks fantastic). You want a bevy of HD entertainment...save up and get a PS3.
Anyways, back to my question--what do we know about the PS3s Blu-Ray drive and how it compares to the standalone?