Sony: The PS3 Will Always Have Blu-ray

Late last month Janco Partners’ Mike Hickey said that:

  1. “Recent channel checks indicate increased speculation for a PS3 price cut announcement from Sony in the next couple of days.” (We’re still waiting.)
  2. Sony was planning a PS3 without a Blu-ray drive.

We doubted the second item, as it would break the PS3’s compatibility with its own game library. And Sony marketing manager Kim Nguyen told us yesterday it will never happen.

“That would pretty much destroy the PS3’s backbone, our games were built on Blu-ray.” Kim told us. “Quote that: Blu-ray will always be part of PS3.”

The Sony execs were in town to demo a few cool, lesser-known features of the PS3 that won’t help sell consoles: We tried out a new way to play PSP games on an HDTV screen using a PS3 controller (the addition of an extra control stick to move the camera is a plus), and Sony showed off the ability to stream music and videos from a Mac or PC to an HDTV via PS3 and wi-fi.

Here’s what Sony said in response to our Sony gaming wishlist:

  • Still no price cuts for the PS3.
  • No chance Sony might mimic Microsoft (MSFT) and offer a cheap, offline-only PS3, making up the revenue difference with an annual fee for online play. “Online gaming is like a First Amendment right,” said Sony exec Susan Panico.
  • No “PSP phone” combined gaming/telephony device is in the works. PSP users are limited to wi-fi-tethered VoiP for now.
  • “Nothing to announce” in regards to a PS3-optimised interface for streaming Internet video from a Hulu or YouTube (GOOG) via the PS3’s built-in wi-fi, like Microsoft (MSFT) already does with Netflix (NFLX) on the X360. “Stay tuned!” Sony’s Susan promises.

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