A lot of debate is currently going on concerning the Blu-ray capabilities of the Playstation 3.
Many people (including myself) consider it one of the best Blu-ray options right now, perhaps only topped by the just-released Panasonic DMP BD30. The main reason for this has been that the PS3 is upgradeable to both Blu-ray profile 1.1 (Bonus View) and coming profile 2.0 (BD Live) and, of course, an attractive price tag compared to dedicated players.
However, many say that the picture quality of the unit is not at par with its stand-alone competition. Being a Playstation 3 owner, my eye caught the following headline in the latest edition of Home Cinema Choice Magazine. "Sony's PS3 is the best Blu-ray player you can buy." The headline was in a "Fact or Fiction" section of the magazine. Guess what: the magazine gave the notion a "Fiction" seal.
The reason they gave: "Increasingly, the Blu-ray performance of the PS3 doesn't really stand up to videophile scrutiny. While its excellent clarity and fine detail reproduction is without question, motion is not the console's strongest point. Fast panning shots in Sony's own flagship 'Casino Royale,' are prone to stutter, whereas the company's own dedicated players render the same scenes perfectly. It is also prone to visual artifacts not seen on the latest dedicated players."
A few comments before PS3 fans go crazy. This is not the first time I have heard this in direct comparison tests, and I have personally witnessed some of these artifacts on my own Playstation 3. Plus, I have found the missing 5.1 analog outs, Bluetooth remote not backlit, no DTS-HD Master Audio support, no IR receiver build in for multifunction remotes, power consumption, and form factor to be annoying as well in the way I use my player.
Personally, I knew that my PS3 would only be a temporary Blu-ray player of choice in my own main home theater setup. However, at the time there was no real competition to the unit in terms of price and features. With the Panasonic DMP BD30 and upcoming profile 2.0 players, the PS3 no longer seems the obvious choice unless you also want to use it for games.
So, if you are the kind of people who think about movies first and games later or perhaps never, it might be a good idea to stay cool and await this summer and fall's impressive line-up of dedicated Blu-ray players before going HD. Can't wait? Perhaps you should check out the Panasonic DMP BD30.
Personally, I'm waiting for Pioneer to go profile 2.0 before I replace my PS3.
Lastly, my comments should in no way be seen as an attack on the Playstation 3. I'm only trying to keep you all in the know and give you valuable information before upgrading to Blu-ray playback.