Sony’s PS3 is a classic sleeper. It has generated unexpected recognition and success, although not as a great game console. Sony’s foresight to integrate a Blu-ray drive, and connect the unit to the Internet should be applauded.
In fact, to the surprise of many PS3 skeptics, Netflix recently announced that more people stream Netflix content to a TV via PS3 than any other device.
Brian Dipert, founder and principal of Sierra Media, said he was never disappointed with the PS3 in an absolute sense, especially its hardware potential. But he, too, was surprised that the PS3 is the most common Netflix online streaming destination--not Roku, not Microsoft's Xbox 360.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has stated that “PS3 is our largest TV-connected platform in terms of Netflix viewing, and this year , at times, even surpassed the PC in hours of Netflix enjoyment to become our number one platform overall.” He called PS3 “a natural fit” for Netflix in developing and first deploying Netflix’ most advanced features. “We can transparently update our application with new features on a daily basis, and through the free PlayStation Network, people around the world can sign up for Netflix directly from their PS3,” he added.
The PS3 as a game console, however, is another story. As Dipert noted, PS3’s Cell processor “ended up being a nightmare to program, which led to a dearth of compelling game content at intro.” The fundamental issue with the PS3 at launch was that “at $499 and $599 it was just way too darn expensive, both in an absolute sense and relative to the Wii and Xbox 360,” he added.