I bought my first Playstation 3 about five years ago, and it was great.  I’m not particularly into games, but it was purchased as a media player and it worked perfectly.  Three years later, the dreaded red light of death occurred, and it went into the attic (just in case…).  I was quite impressed that it had a lifetime of three years, given that everything else I bought from Sony generally developed a fault two weeks after the warranty expired.

I mourned its loss – it could play PS1 and PS2 games as well as fulfilling my music and Blu-Ray needs.

But, it’s not like it was the only chance I ever had to buy a Playstation 3.  I bought a new one a couple of months later – only to be seriously, seriously pissed off.  It didn’t play PS1 or PS2 games – black mark number one.  More importantly, it was unable to play Blu-Ray movies without a horrible stutter in the playback.  It took me a few months to take it back – a combination of not enough time and general laziness – but it finally happened about two months ago.  Four weeks ago, I received a replacement PS3 that should have no problem with Blu-Rays.

I call bullshit.

Right now, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is stuttering its way across the screen.  Sony championed Blu-Ray, yet they seem singularly incapable of producing a machine capable of playing them. I can cope with incompetance when it doesn’t affect me, but when it does it tends to bite a little.  Happily, the good folks at Sony provided a new warranty starting from when I received the new machine.  Unhappily, I’m not sure that returning it to have the problem addressed will have any effect since they have already shown they’re unable to do what they claim to be able to.

I personally wouldn’t sign off any software that I had written or was reviewing that acted as badly as this.  The unbelievably shitty performance means that DVDs (which the PS3 has no problem with) are more watchable on this machine than the hi-def films I bought the machine for in the first place.

Sony – please – shit or get off the Blu-Ray pot.  My patience is running out, and there are a lot of alternatives out there.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re the only player in the market.

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