Originally Posted by Alfiejr
(as posted earlier today at Roughly Drafted)
Today Sony announced its new online movie/TV rental/sales store for the PlayStation 3 that essentially matches the AppleTV in selection, picture quality, and content pricing. it goes online tomorrow. there are currently over 4 million PS3's in the US. you can play movies/TV shows you buy also on the PlayStation Portable, analogous to an iPod Touch. there are currently over 10 million PSP's in the US.
obviously this new service is direct competition with AppleTV (both lack NBC/Universal, which is hooked up now with NetFlix/XBox). the PS3 can also serve as a media extender to play all your iTunes and other media on your computer on your TV, just like AppleTV (though not as elegantly). in other words, if you have a PS3 there is no reason to then buy an AppleTV now.
of course the PS3 costs $260 more, but for that you also get a state of the art game console, a top notch bluray DVD player, and a mediocre web browser for your TV.
i'm afraid the AppleTV is looking more and more like Apple's equivalent to the Zune. too little, too late. nearly everyone agrees it needs to serve more functions than just a simple iTunes media extender. adding iPhone remote control is a nice sexy tweak, but it's no going to sell more of them.
The quickest and easiest thing Apple could do is add the Safari web browser with a software update (this has already been hacked). there is no really good browser for TV use yet (the XBox version is mediocre too). that would open up the whole, booming world of online media content to be accessed via your AppleTV. no price increase would be needed.
the emerging consensus is the main function needed is a DVR. this is more complicated, both hardware and software, and legal DRM issues. but right now by default TiVo and the cable companies control that market. TiVo adds its own limited movie rental/sale UnBox service and media extender capability, thus taking away AppleTV sales from the other direction.
And yes, a bluray DVD player would complete the AppleTV package nicely. Then you would have a TiVo killer, and a product that beats the PS3 except for serious gaming.
time is running out. no one is going to buy the AppleTV this christmas as it is.