Ars Technica has a piece looking at reasons why Sony may have wanted to make the Blu-Ray player optional
in their next-gen console. From the article: "By tying what is essentially a gaming device to a new optical disc format, Sony is hoping to kill two birds with one stone, but they're expecting consumers to pay for the stone as if it were a diamond. That is, in hoping that consumers will see the Blu-ray player as a good investment in the future, they're risking the fallout that comes when consumers realize that diamonds aren't investments at all. They're for show. And the way the PS3 is priced right now, bling appears to be the operative word. But bling sells, and when manufacturing costs come down, we can all look forward to this edition of Sony Style... at least so long as we're not satiated by a competing product."