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Sticker shock: PlayStation 3's unfair Blu-ray advantage

David Carnoy comments on how the stickers on Blu-ray discs offer an unfair marketing advantage to Sony's PlayStation 3.

The sticker that appears on Blu-ray discs. CNET Networks

Sure, I and the rest of CNET's home-theater editors think the PlayStation 3 is the only Blu-ray player really worth buying today. But no matter how we feel, it's easy to spot why other machines have an uphill battle trying to unseat the PS3 from its Blu-ray throne: Sony's sticking it to the competition, literally.

Take a closer look at all those stickers on the front of all those Blu-ray discs in your local Best Buy and you'll see what I mean. There's the Blu-ray disc headline and then the fine print message, "For use only with Blu-ray disc players, Blu-ray disc computer drives and PLAYSTATION 3 game consoles." Glance quickly at the sticker and all you see is Blu-ray Disc and PlayStation 3.

I asked Sony PlayStation reps about it the other day and, while they didn't have any comment, they just smiled knowingly and said, "Yeah, we like that."

We're not sure how long the sticker deal is in effect but it seems that as long as it is, the PS3 is going to have a not-so-subliminal marketing edge over other Blu-ray players. How long do you think it will take for some other player to top the PS3 in terms of Blu-ray player sales? I think we're looking at a couple of years, even if the price for standalone players dips under $200 or less. After all, the PS3 will come down in price, too.