Sony continues to play defense over PS3 pricing, HDMI

Somehow, we suspect Sony's brass are not very happy right now. Instead of spending their time at E3 fielding softball questions about the Playstation 3's graphics, they're playing defense, as they continue to face queries about the new console's pricing and the missing features on the lower-priced version. In an interview with CNN, Sony's Kaz Hirai said the pricing -- $499 for the 20GB PS3 and $599 for the 60GB version -- was justified by the inclusion of technologies like the Cell processor and Blu-ray, and added that the "totality" of the product is a "good value for consumers." Hirai also defended the lack of HDMI on the 20GB PS3, commenting that "there's not a discernible difference between what you get between HDMI and other forms of high definition." While that might be the case with current Blu-ray flicks, all movie studios (including Sony Pictures) have reserved the right to implement the Image Constraint Token in future discs, which could force anyone using analog outputs -- including owners of the 20GB PS3 -- to watch downgraded video. We assume Hirai's familiar with the issue, so we have to wonder whether his claim that the PS3 is "future-proofed" is just a little bit disingenuous. All it would take is one Blu-ray disc with ICT for owners of 20GB PS3s to realize they've been locked out of the future.