Posted by Admin at 3:01pm on Tue May 9th 2006
Last night, Sony released much needed details about the PlayStation 3 due later this year. There will be two versions, $499 w/20GB hard drive, and $599 with 60GB. The size of the hard drive is the only detail they mentioned as the difference, but there are many other important differences they chose not to share in their E3 presentation, one of them being huge: No HDMI output!
As has been mentioned, most first generation HD movies (both Blu-ray and HD-DVD) will not be incorporating the Image Constraint Token (ICT), which downsamples HD output to standard DVD quality unless video is being sent over a digital connection such as HDMI, and DVI in some cases. By excluding an HDMI port on the "cheap" version of the PS3, Sony is essentially making that version completely worthless for future generation HD movies since it will have to be connected via component (analog) cables. Now even if you aren't interested in Blu-ray HD movies, there's still another problem. Component is only capable of 1080i output, while HDMI can do full 1080p, the "gold standard" of HD video. So not only will you be royally screwed for movies, but your video games will also be crippled - not nearly as bad as HD movies of course, but still a slap in the face.
I think this is really just a way to set the price of the PS3 at $600, because only a fool would buy the "cheap" $499 version. Just like no one wants the Xbox 360 Core edition, no one will want this either. Besides all that, it makes the 360 sound incredibly cheap! Of course, the 360 doesn't have a next generation optical drive in it. Considering the cheapest Blu-ray drive will be $1000 when it launches later this month, $600 sounds like a good deal, not to mention the fact that your $600 will also be buying you a nice shiny video game console.
Regardless, Sony really dropped the ball on this one. Don't offer two versions of your console, because no one wants the shitty one. If you feel you must sell it at $600, then sell it at $600 instead of screwing your customers over.