Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Playstation 3 Update

Sony announced nothing at the Consumer Electronics Show so we are left listening to rumors about when PS3 is coming out.

First there's the issue of the launch date. Sony's last word on this remains spring 2006, but almost nobody believes it — at least not for the North American launch — because of a history of delays for previous products. Thanksgiving looks to be a better bet, at least to Evan Wilson, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities.

If the PS3 does launch in November, Sony will have given Microsoft a full year's worth of potential sales of its next-generation console, the Xbox 360. "Microsoft's lead time in building share for this console generation is real," says NPD Group's Anita Frazier. "The longer that lead time is, the greater the initial risk for Sony."

Since Microsoft has had problems getting XBox 360's onto the market the delay in launching PS3 has not cost Sony very much. Even with a November launch I doubt that it will hurt Sony. There are many Sony fanboys who will wait and there are many people who will buy both units. The stakes are big. The next generation of game machines are trying to be media entertainment centers. The idea is that you will use this machine to connect to the web and to manage your TV and stereo.

News is trickling out about PS3. PS3Blog is a good source I recently discovered. Here is a demo of the PS3's graphics from Project Offset. (The same trailers from IGN.) They voice over in Sneak Peak 2 says that these are rendered in real time. Truly amazing stuff. The game they are working on is a fantasy first person shooter.

Also, Westinghouse has come out with a 42" LCD which has the ability to display 1080p (1920x1080 progressive scan) aka ultra high definition. MSRP $2799. I am waiting for it to go on sale at best buy. And I need to make some money trading.

Diego adds: I was just looking over 37" and Samsung's 40'' LCD's at Circuit City the past few days while considering the upgrade to HDTV. My opinion as of now is that LCD is better than Plasma but that's not from home experience as I am still watching a 27" standard set right now. I'm not sure what size fits best in my living room but I'll be sure to check the return policy on any purchase I make. Any thoughts on TV's would be appreciated. The $2800 price for 42" seems about right but it is the specs that make all the difference. There is no point to spending so much on a TV if it does not function at a certain level. I'm not sure just where to quantify that level but resolution is a key factor.

Bill C responds:

I am going to go with the Westinghouse LCD for two reasons. 1) I want to use it some of the time as a computer monitor. The rest of the time as a TV. LCDs don't have the burnout problems that Plasma screens have when they show an image for a long period of time. LCDs are more expensive right now and if I only wanted a great TV I would think about a Plasma. This TV has the ability to do a split screen from two sources so I can watch the markets and I won't have to miss Dr. Phil. 2) I plan on moving in the next three years and I am clumsy. Plasma TVs are delicate. You really should have a professional install them and they are prone to breaking. LCDs can be dropped from three stories and it will be fine.* Diego, I bet the 37" comes down to $1500 very soon and the $2799 is the MSRP and you know how fast that gets discounted with tech stuff. I plan on getting the 42" Westy, as us videophiles like to call it, in the spring. I can't wait to watch baseball in HD and you are welcome to come over. BYOB. ;-)

*I made that up.


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