In remarks made to Japanese website Impress Watch, and translated by
consumer website Beyond3D, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Ken Kutaragi has commented in more detail on the concept that the PlayStation 3 is a computer, rather than a game console.
Kutaragi pointedly commented of the next-gen console, which is due to launch this November at dual price points of $499 and $599 in North America: "We don't say it's a game console (*laugh*) - PlayStation 3 is clearly a computer, unlike the PlayStations [released] so far."
He went on to outline a scenario where many parts of the PS3 were upgradable, much more like a PC, noting: "Since PS3 is a computer, there are no "models" but "configurations"", and continuing (though talking in the theoretical): "I think it's okay to release a [extended PS3] configuration every year". It's clear from the comments that Sony is indicating that it will be possible to upgrade hard drives and perhaps even other components easily.
The Sony CEO gave another example in the interview: "As PS3 is a computer... it also wants to evolve. We'll want to upgrade the HDD size very soon - if new standards appear on the PC, we will want to support them. We may want the [Blu-ray] drive to [have a writable version upgrade]." He then tempered his comments: "Well, BD may not develop like that, though." But extensibility is what Sony is stressing that you get for the price of a PS3, nonetheless.
Kutaragi's comments echo a recent Phil Harrison interview
in which he commented: "We believe that the PS3 will be the place where our users play games, watch films, browse the Web, and use other computer functions. The PlayStation 3 is a computer. We do not need the PC." The combined executive comments appear to signify a change in marketing tactics for the company, who may have always had this scenario in mind, but are pushing it much more strongly following a somewhat mixed E3 showing from a PR perspective.