I have seen a lot of complaints as to the cost of the PS3. I think that the following should help you understand why this is not as unreasonable as it seems.
Let me first discuss the graphics. By this time everyone knows the outputs. PS3 will be outputting true HD (at this time) of 1080p. The Xbox360 isn’t far behind outputting 1080i. Although the screen resolution is the same, essentially the PS3 refreshes it's screen twice as many times a minute (For those that don't know: 1080i is an interlaced screen, "spraying" every other line 60 times a second essentially giving you 30 frames per second, while 1080p is a progressive screen "spraying" every line 60 times a second essentially dicing you 60 frames per second). Now while this difference doesn’t seem all that noticeable the interlaced screen may appear slightly choppy. Now not to rag on the Wii, but it will be outputting 480p, which doesn’t come close to competing with the PS3.
Now besides the output the systems have different graphics processors. The major specs I have are that the PS3 has 2.1 TFLOPS floating point performance running at 550MHZ, and the Xbox360 only has 1 TFLOPS and runs at 500MHZ. The PS3 also surpasses the 360 graphics in other ways, and from what I know, they suggest that the PS3 is twice as powerful as the 360. (The Wii has not output specifics as to my knowledge.)
Moving on quickly to the power of the systems. I know you all are tired of hearing it but its all in the cell. It truly is an amazing piece of technology. It does in everyway surpass what the Xbox360 and the Wii have to offer.
Now, onto the subject of blu-ray. The blu-ray disc format does so much for the PS3. It not only provides more space to the developers for added game content, it alows for less data compression, and faster streaming rates, thus lowering loading times. Also the addition of the blu-ray player provides consumers with a low priced fully functioning blu-ray player which will share, if not control the home movie media market (HD-DVD may also catch on). Of course the PS3 will include a DVD player, so there really is no worry if HD-DVD catches on. Of course if blu-ray does catch on the technology will become easier and easier to produce and production prices will go down, and we could see a reduction in game prices due to less material costs of the disks.
Why should you upgrade from DVD to Blu-ray?
The simple answer is HDTV. If you've ever seen high-definition (HD) video on an HDTV, then you know just how incredibly sharp the picture is and how vivid the colors are. In fact, HD offers five times the amount of detail compared to standard-definition (SD). The problem with today's DVDs is that they only support SD and don't have the necessary storage capacity to satisfy the needs of HD. That's where Blu-ray comes in, it offers up to 50GB of storage capacity and enables playback, recording and rewriting of HD in all of the HD resolutions including 1080p. The format also supports high-definition audio formats and lossless audio.
In addition to the greater video and audio quality, the extra storage capacity also means there will be plenty of room for additional content and special features. This combined with the new BD-J interactivity layer adopted by Blu-ray will bring the menus, graphics and special features to a whole new level. For example, you will be able to bring up the menu system as an overlay without stopping the movie, and you could have the director of the movie on the screen explaining the shooting of a scene while the scene is playing in the background. The advanced interactivity combined with the networking features of Blu-ray will also allow content producers to support new innovative features such as downloading extras, updating content via the web, and watching live broadcasts of special events.
Thanks to the greatly enhanced HD video and audio quality as well as the advanced interactivity and networking features, Blu-ray represents a huge leap forward in the DVD viewing experience and will offer consumers an unprecedented HD experience.
What benefits does Blu-ray offer compared to HD-DVD?
Although both Blu-ray and HD-DVD are similar in many aspects, there are some important differences between them.
The first is capacity. Because Blu-ray utilizes a lens with a greater numerical aperture (NA) than HD-DVD, the laser spot can be focused with greater precision to fit more data on the same size disc. This allows Blu-ray to hold 25GB per layer (50GB on a dual-layer disc), whereas HD-DVD can only hold 15GB per layer (30GB on a dual-layer disc). Blu-ray has also adopted a higher data transfer rate for video and audio (54Mbps vs 36.55Mbps). The greater capacity and data transfer rates for Blu-ray will allow the movie studios to release their movies with higher quality video and audio than the HD-DVD format.
The second is content. The Blu-ray format has received broad support from the major movie studios as a successor to today's DVD format. Seven of the eight major movie studios (Warner, Paramount, Fox, Disney, Sony, MGM and Lionsgate) have already announced titles for Blu-ray, whereas HD-DVD only has support from three major movie studios (Warner, Paramount and Universal). This is an important difference because some of the studios might only support one of the formats, so you won't be able to get your favorite movies in the other format. Choosing the format with the most content support minimizes this risk.
The third is hardware support. The Blu-ray format has broad support from the world's leading consumer electronics, personal computer and media manufacturers, including Sony, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Pioneer, Sharp, JVC, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, TDK, Thomson, LG, Apple, HP and Dell. The Blu-ray format will also be supported in the next-generation PlayStation 3 (PS3) video game console. This means that you will have a lot of choice when it comes to players and hardware. The HD-DVD format has far less supporters, so the amount of players and hardware will be very limited. So far, Toshiba is the only company to officially announce a HD-DVD player and it will only support 1080i output, while the announced Blu-ray players will support 1080p.
You'll receive the most powerful gaming system (Cell based processor) with the LARGEST gaming library in the world (backwards compatible with PS2 and PS1 games). 162 Games already announced for the PS3 include: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Final Fantasy XIII, Killzone PS3, Resident Evil 5, GTA4, Devil May Cry 4, Resistance Fall Of Man, Naughty Dog project, 8 Day (which look amazing probably the next GTA), The Getaway, Grand Tourismo, Tekken 6, Heavenly sword, Virtua Fighters 5, Warhawk(look amazing specially with the new motion sensor thing), Coded Arms: Assault, SingStar, Unreal Tournament 2007, Haze, Ridge Racer 7, BioShock, Call of Duty 3, Virtua Tennis 3, Possession, Dark Sector, Stuntman 2, WinningEleven 2007 and Assassin’s Creed.
Further arguments in favor of the PS3 include: Built-in WiFi, free online features (which include video chat, and downloadable content), HDMI output, full backwards-compatibility, firmware updates, linux based OS (Operating System), and more.
Also Sony Computer Entertainment America reportedly stated that gaming would be free, stating: "Please note that online gaming will be free right out of the box."
Sony has touted free online as an advantage over Microsoft's free XBox LIVE account, called a "Silver" account, which does not include online gaming as one of its services. The pricing structure for premium and downloadable content has still not been outlined
Finally in response to a previous "review" the reason of the "low" quality game content at E3 was that most games weren't more than 50% complete, and were not outputting true high-def. Also at this time games only are using about 20% of the cell processor (so I read), and it will take awhile for developers to get used to the system and its capabilities. I expect that in the future games will become much better.
As a quick side note I would like to mention that the PS3 is reportedly to be extremely silent, compared to the 360 which is extremely noisy.
Still it is a matter of opinion, and this is only mine. The PS3 is not only a game machine, it is a multimedia device. Compared to the price of normal blu-ray players, which will most likely be priced in the thousands, a fully functional one will be within the PS3 for only $600.
Hope I helped to clear a few things up, or to pursue some that were on the fence. Personally I cannot wait to get my hands on a PS3.