Sony has unveiled the slimmest and cheapest version of the PS3 yet, but is it a solid replacement for a Blu-ray player?
The new-look PS3.
Sony has released the third version of the PlayStation 3 console, something that we're calling the PlayStation Cubed, but that Sony is just calling the plain old PS3. It's significantly thinner and, even better, cheaper than the slim — AU$399.95 for a 500GB model, compared to AU$429 for 320GB.
We happily number the PS3 slim in the ranks of our best Blu-ray players. In fact, Blu-ray playback has been a significant part of the PlayStation's strength for some time now — gaming, IP entertainment services and Blu-ray is a hell of a combination.
The recently reviewed Sony BDP-S790 is one of our top-rated Blu-ray players, thanks to great playback, solid network functions and an impressive array of video and music streaming, with catch-up TV apps and the Sony Entertainment Network. We noted that at AU$429, it was pricier than many players, but worth it.
Now Sony has the new PlayStation 3. It's cheaper than the BDP-S790 by AU$30, has network functions, Blu-ray playback and — in the words of a local Sony rep — "the full suite of entertainment services currently enjoyed on PS3 will be available for consumers to enjoy on the new model PS3".
That's a lot of services, by the by: ABC iView, Quickflix, SBS On Demand, Plus7, VidZone, the PlayStation Video Store ... the list goes on.
Currently, AU$400 is a reasonable amount to pay for a Blu-ray player. However, assuming that the new PS3 has the same-quality Blu-ray playback that its predecessor enjoyed (we'll update when review models become available, but there's no real reason to assume that it won't), then as a whole entertainment package, it might even pip its S790 stable mate to the post. It's definitely worth considering if you're in the Blu-ray market.