To HDMI or not to HDMI

In yesterday’s report about the pricing and availability of the Playstation 3 I completely forgot to make mention of the fact that the $499 version of the Playstation 3 will not feature on HDMI output, which means it will most likely not be able to display video in the 1080p format and will be limited to 1080i as a maximum.

While some readers already grunt in frustration I think there are a few things to consider, and to understand that this is not some bizarre conspiracy or rip-off tactic on Sony’s behalf. The reasons are very simple and do make sense.

First of all one has to keep in mind that the Playstation 3 is video game console in the first place. The ability to play back Blu-Ray movies is a nice side-effect but it certainly is not on Sony’s priority list of the Playstation 3. Most gamers play their video games on regular to low end TV sets, none of which have even remotely the capability to display 1080p video streams. Gamers are, generally speaking, not videophiles and could not care less whether their video comes as 1080i or 1080p.

The second reason is, of course that those who have plunked down their money to actually buy a 1080p capable TV set – and they do cost a bit of money still – will most likely not use a Playstation 3 to watch movies on. Those people ARE videophiles and they will not mind a bit to spend a couple of hundred dollar extra to get a real set top Blu-Ray player with 1080p HDMI output.

So, in essence all those who are up in arms against Sony’s Playstation 3 pricing and feature structure, may just settle back down and think about what it is they really want, a game console or a Blu-Ray player? A low cost solution or the real deal?

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