Inside Move: Sony’s lighting up PS3 with Blu-ray pic

First half-million consoles to come with 'Talladega'

Sony Computer Entertainment is looking to Sony Pictures to help show off the movie-playing power of its PlayStation 3.

At a press event revealing most of the launch details for the console, which bows Nov. 17, Sony announced that the first half-million PS3s sold in North America this year will come with a Blu-ray version of SPE’s “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.”

Given that Sony expects to have just 2 million PS3s out the factory door by Dec. 31 for both North America and Japan, most consumers in the U.S. and Canada who buy the console this holiday season will get the pic, which was popular with the core young male gamer demo.

Sony is counting on the PS3 to help boost its Blu-ray high-def DVD format over the competing HD DVD from Toshiba. Many consumers may not be aware of or interested in the console’s movie-playing capabilities, however, especially in the hard-core crowd who will buy it at launch. By including a Blu-ray disc with the console, Sony’s clearly trying to get them interested in buying more Blu-ray discs going forward.

That should serve two purposes for the conglom: It could help boost Blu-ray over HD DVD and help make up for the sizable loss Sony takes on every PS3 with the royalties it makes on each Blu-ray DVD.

Last year, Sony included a copy of “Spider-Man 2” with the first million units of its PSP in the proprietary UMD format that worked only on its handheld vidgame system. That didn’t provide much of a boost for movies on the PSP, though, as most studios have drastically cut back, if not eliminated, UMD releases.

Microsoft will be selling an HD DVD drive that can be attached to its Xbox 360 vidgame console for $199 starting next month. Combined with the $399 price of a 360, that adds up to the PS3’s $599 sticker.

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