Is the PS3 turning into a TiVo?

Sony's New Zealand marketing rep accidentally discloses an upcoming add-on for the Playstation 3.

Published August 2, 2007 3:55PM (EDT)

Probably this was not the way Sony wanted the world to hear. Warwick Light, head of marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment New Zealand, was talking to the New Zealand newspaper The Press the other day when he let the cat out of the bag: "We're also hoping next year ... to release a digital tuner for the PS3, turning it into a programmable TV recorder."

A DVR for the Playstation 3? This was news. Sure, there'd been rumors that Sony would do this -- and people have long speculated that the PS3, with its powerful processor and Blu-ray drive, would work well as an all-purpose home entertainment device -- but confirmation from New Zealand was likely not part of the plan.

Still, looks like a good move. But will it be a high-definition recorder, like TiVo's Series 3? And how much will it cost? After all, let's remember the $499 PS3 is not long for this world -- so if we've got to buy a $599 PS3 plus the recorder add-on to get some DVR action, why, that's real money. And these days you can get a souped-down HD TiVo Series 3 "Lite" for just $299.

By Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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