02
Aug
07

PlayStation 3 To Become TV Tuner and DVR?

Sony’s “next generation” video game console, the PlayStation 3, could become a device for all the sony generations in a household — as a TV tuner and digital video recorder.

On Tuesday, the marketing head of Sony Computer Entertainment New Zealand told that country’s The Press that Sony was hoping to release a digital tuner for the machine next year. The executive, Warwick Light, called the PS3 an “incredible transformer” and said the tuner would turn the console into a “programmable TV recorder.”

Many people think the “PS3 is just a games machine,” he said. It is that, he conceded, but it’s also a “future-proofed supercomputer.”

 

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All About the Games

We’ve heard several different possibilities from Sony about where it wants the PS3 to go, said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with Jupiter Research. The company is clearly planning on the PS3 “moving beyond gaming,” he said, but “it would take a lot to make that happen.”

It is certainly feasible that a tuner and programmable video recorder could be added, he said, but the key question is whether it would “dramatically change the market” for PS3 sales.

Even for a next-generation machine, Gartenberg noted, “at the end of the day, it’s still about the games, the games, the games.”

A next-generation machine means that it has to last until the next generation, Light said, noting that many of the PS3’s capabilities can be updated through downloadable software patches. But there could be quite a few software patches and hardware add-ons before the succeeding generation takes the helm. The PS3 was launched seven years after the PS2, so it could be seven or more years before a PS4.

PS2 Won’t Let Go

The PS2 is refusing to give up its place to the new generation. In New Zealand, as one example, there are about 450,000 PS2s, but only about 9,000 PS3s. A recent report from Nielsen, in fact, said that the PS2 is still the most popular video game console overall, in terms of time actually played.

Sales figures also show that the last generation still has legs. Last month, for example, NPD Group reported that Sony sold about 98,000 PS3s, which was a 20 percent jump over May figures. More than 270,000 PS2s were sold as well. In an effort to stimulate PS3 sales, Sony cut the price of its 60-GB PS3 by $100 to $499 in July. Sony maintains that sales at the five largest retailers since the price cut have increased by 135 percent.

One next-generation, built-in component of the PS3, the Blu-ray drive, might turn out to position the console right at the hub of home entertainment. The company has been heavily criticized for including a Blu-ray player in the console, which some observers have said led to the PS3’s launch delay, high price, and resulting third place among current consoles.

But the upside of that, from Sony’s point of view, is that the PS3’s Blu-ray player is creating a larger installed base than any other high-definition player, in either Blu-ray or HD format.

Via Yahoo


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