Sharp Putting Blu-ray Inside TVs, Is PS3 Still Needed?

One of the most popular gaming/movie rumors that keeps popping up is Microsoft releasing either a new Xbox 360 sku with an embedded Blu-ray drive or a Blu-ray drive add-on ala the now extinct HD DVD drive add-on. But what if Microsoft could level the playing field without spending a cent?

Sharp today announced they will release the world’s first LCD TVs with built-in Blu-ray Disc recorders in Japan next month. They also announced the intention to release the same or similar sets in North America sometime within the next year.

Technically speaking, an Xbox 360 fanboy could pick up one of these sets next year and voila, Blu-ray is in the bag and PS3’s advantages are chopped considerably. Or so it may seem.

If the Blu-ray player/recorder is embedded in the TV, how will firmware updates be managed? Will the TV be able to pass the appropriate lossless audio streams to a receiver via HDMI? Many questions still remain so there’s no need for PS3 fanboys to feel threatened by these new sets next year or any year after that.

The entry level 26″ set in the Aquos DX series will run roughly $1,708.33 in Japan and go up from there through 15 other models all the way to 52″. If these prices hold true, you might as well buy any old LCD with a more flexible standalone PS3 and Xbox 360 on the side or equal or fewer hard earned dollars.

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