I was talking with one of my gaming friends over the weekend and somebody set up us the bomb on this one. According to this rumor, Sony is working on a new marketing strategy and system.
In order to get the PS3 more market saturation and order to compete in the casual gaming [PogoWolf: Nintendo, Natal, and that whole motion controller thing] market Sony is working on a new SKU for the slim PS3 that removes the Blu-Ray player itself.
This new SKU removes the most expensive part of the PS3 allowing Sony to drop the price to around $150 and still leave most of the standard PS3 hardware. I was informed that this new version will also be available in an array of colors and what are being called “tattoos” (skins) for the system and that the first release model will be in white to differentiate the system from the full PS3 SKUs.
It was also been stated that Sony will release a piggy-back Blu-ray player for this new SKU sometime after launch. It will connect to the system via the USB port and will offer a full Blu-ray movies and gaming experience. [PogoWolf: Think of the HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360]
This ‘arcade’ version of the PS3 will connect to the PSN, using the built in Wi-Fi in order to download games and demos. Some of the smaller PS3 games might even show up on the PSN for these ‘Arcade’ users. I was also informed that Sony is looking into allowing users, using a code, to ‘store’ their digital copy of a movie they have bought for streaming from the PSN.
However in order to cover the costs of the bandwidth needed to download Blu-Ray based games Sony is to create a new ‘Platinum’ pay for version of the PSN for Arcade customers The standard PSN will still be free but the Platinum version will offer premium content and exclusives not available to the free PSN customers and will cost about $49.99 for a full year.
Most likely this is complete BS…
But it’s really not a bad idea. It would be the first console to go to a complete digital delivery way of distributing its games and content. Granted downloading full 25gig games would be a bit of a bitch. However, it’s known that a lot of space on the Blu-Rays are duplicate files to help load times and no compression on audio and textures because there’s all that extra room. Remove the redundant files and compress not only the audio and textures (lossless mind you) but then ‘ZIP’ the package.. and even the downloads shouldn’t be too bad. Hell Sony might even be able to stream the games to the system the same way sites like GameTap does.