A recent forum posting concerning Sony’s PlayStation 3 (PS3) has stirred a lot of controversy. The posting, which contains a supposed scan of an upcoming Official PlayStation Magazine article with details pertaining to some features that Sony intends to included on the PS3. According to the article, the PS3 will include; Online services comparable to Xbox Live, PVR capabilities, advanced connectivity with the PlayStation Portable (PSP), an online store similar to Apple’s iTunes, media center capabilities, location free player for the PSP and will include firmware updates similar to those offered on the PSP.

The above items surely look appealing. The PS3 would definitely be the ultimate entertainment center. These features would definitely surpass your traditional PVR and offer additional media opportunities of your PSP.

Is Sony once again forgetting that gamers want a system mainly for gaming purposes? As much as I like the PSP, the device’s main functions aren’t really gaming. The unit is being more or less used a multimedia device with gaming features tacked on to it. Shouldn’t the handheld be used for gaming primarily? This is quite possibly the main reason why Nintendo is currently the leader in the handheld marketplace.

Wouldn’t all these entertainment capabilities drive the PS3’s price tag through the roof? Remember the ill fated Japanese PSX (no not the original PlayStation console), which was a PS2 with PVR functionalities. One of the main reason the unit failed was due to the unit’s astronomical price tag. Does Sony believe consumers can afford such a device this time around?

Also, are these supposed features really going to be included in the PS3? Or is Sony just playing the PR game in order to steal some buzz from its competitors? Sony made a lot of promises that never materialized before the launch of the PS2, the PSP also had its fair share of functions that never made it into the final design.

One plausible scenario is that Sony will end-up releasing various flavors of the PS3 that will include some of these functionalities. It’s also a possibility that these additional functions will be add-ons that can be purchased by consumers who require these extra bells and whistles.

So far the PlayStation 3 looks good on paper, how will it translate in the real world?

In the end, hopefully Sony will not forget that the PlayStation brand is all about gaming, and that everything else is secondary. Give gamers the machine that lives up to the hype. Give gamers an affordable machine that will immerse them in the next-generation era of gaming. Gamers know what they want, hopefully Sony still has a clue about them!

By André Barriault

As published on http://www.gamingcult.com

[tags]playstation portable,playstation 3,playstation magazine[/tags]