The PS3 will be significant for Blu-Ray. And vice versa.
The PS2 sold very well in Japan when it was released for a simple but amazing reason: it was one of the cheapest DVD players on the market. And oh, by the way, it could also play thousands of games and was a next-gen video console.
If Blu-Ray looks to pass muster with the court of public opinion (Goodness knows how people are eager to show off their HDTVs in ways that DVDs just can’t), then the PS3 will probably sell like hotcakes, since the console is likely to be coming out just as the first commercial Blu-Ray players are being launched in the US. This puts those initial non-Sony player manufacturers in the unenviable position of having to undercut the PS3, since it’s not likely that their devices will also be able to play thousands of video games.
Folks considering buying a Blu-Ray player will consider getting a PS3 now, as folks on the fence about a PS3 versus, say, a Nintendo Revolution might be nudged into getting the PS3 just to be able to play Blu-Ray discs.
Microsoft is, of course, playing a similar card with HD-DVD and the XBox360. But I would personally bet on Sony over Microsoft when it comes to consumer hardware: about the only consumer hardware Microsoft has done well has been their mouse. (Apologies to fans of the Microsoft Natural keyboard. And maybe to Halo fans. But no apologies to the clueless monkeys who bought things like the MS cordless phone.)
Like many of you, I’m eager to see what develops when technology giants spend billions to outdo each other in making shiny, fun toys.