A typically eloquent contribution from my colleague Happygeek tells us a great deal about the games console wars. Xbox is outselling the PS3 but they're both being trounced by the Wii.

So far so good, but my guess is that the Xbox will still be the long-term loser. And I'll tell you why - the PS3 isn't going to be a games console in its next iteration. That's my guess.

You'll want a bit of evidence. First let's have a look at a release I received last week. HiFi manufacturer Denon is releasing what it's convinced is a good-value Blu-Ray DVD player. It costs £600. that's around $978. The PS3 retails for half that and yes, it plays Blu-Ray DVDs (I understand there's a movie download service in the US, too, which we don't have over here).

Let's also look at a gadget I have on my PS3 at the moment. It's called a Play TV and it turns my Playstation into a TV receiver and PVR - I can watch one channel and record another, pause live TV...oh, you know how it goes. This set-up which records TV and plays Blu-Ray now costs me about £360 if I buy it new - that's around $587.

Ask yourself how much a Blu-Ray player plus a PVR would cost and bear in mind you'll have two boxes below your TV rather than one, and you might see where I'm going with this. It now makes reasonable financial sense to buy a Playstation whether or not you're remotely interested in game playing - particularly if (and I'm only guessing) the PVR functions are built into the PS4. Make a deal with the satellite or cable people so you can sell it as a dedicated receiver instead of the usual set-top box and you have a compelling proposition.

Microsoft isn't out yet, it's doing well, and I'll be interested to see whether (and how) it responds. The Wii has the advantage of price and of being a nifty, compact games console. But the PS3 is slowly creating an entirely new niche for itself, and I'd be stunned if that didn't become even more apparent with the next version.

About the Author

Author, 'This Is Social Media' (Capstone Publishing 2009); freelance journalist in the UK for the Guardian, Times, Telegraph, Independent and others.

jbennet 1,618

As a gamer i agree. Each console has two sides to the coin

e.g the wii. Crap for real gaming but fun as hell
the xbox is great for real gaming and music but nm else
the ps3 on the other hand doesnt have as many good games as the xbox but it plays blu rays.

Its good value for a blu ray player but sonyt really screwed up. The cheaper , and most of the UK ps3s cannot play PS2 games.

Thanks for the comment. I'm not sure what you mean by 'real gaming' - on the PS3 most of the interactivity is in thumb movement; when I play Wii sports with my eight-year-old we both get quite involved.

I do agree the backwards compatibility is a problem but I still think Sony's long-term strategy is that the games component is only one part of the multi-media box they've built.