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The Sony PlayStation 3 game console is the most expensive of the three majors (the others being the Microsoft Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii), but it packs in playback of Blu-ray movies, video chat, Internet access, and digital audio and video viewing in addition to being one of the most advanced game platforms made.
Its ability to play Blu-ray movies is what warrants its mention in these pages, and until the recent release of the Sony BDP-S300, it was the least expensive Blu-ray player available to enthusiasts. $600 wasn't pocket change, though, and that price put it about $200 more than the Xbox 360 and $350 more than the Nintendo Wii (assuming that you can find one).
The price tag on the PlayStation 3 has just dropped to $499.99, which is a $100 discount from last week, so if you were saving your pennies for a PS3, Sony has just saved you $100!
For a limited time, our Gift Shop merchant Amazon.com is offering the PlayStation 3 at the new $500 price along with a free Blu-ray DVD Remote and a copy of the movie Memento in Blu-ray format. Additionally, there is a mail-in promotion which offers five free Blu-ray movies, so if you were sitting on the fence about the PS3, this promotion should be good news indeed!
The PlayStation 3 remains one of the few Blu-ray movie players that is capable of connecting to the Internet, which gives it the ability to update its firmware online (no burning firmware discs or waiting for them in the mail) and provide other online features that movie studios can take advantage of. While the PS3 doesn't yet adhere to the October 2007 requirements for Blu-ray, I think it's a good bet that it will be updated by then.
With this price drop, and for the reasons in the previous paragraph, I think the PS3 is the most attractive Blu-ray movie player available on the market right now. The biggest negative factor is the fact that it doesn't have standard IR remote capability (it uses Bluetooth instead), so you can't control the PS3 with a universal remote.
If you want to get into Blu-ray and you are interested in the gaming and media features, the PlayStation 3 is worth investigating, and this promotion sweetens the deal nicely.
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