HDMI has pretty much become the standard cable for connecting the PS3 to a HD television, but there is still the option of component or composite cables for non-HD television sets.
Well, it seems as that might be a thing of the past, as Sony has quietly been updating the PS3 to disable the use of those cables, and forcing the purchase of an HDMI solution.
In a memo sent to GameStop it was highlighted that “this week Sony will begin shipping out the new PlayStation 3 hardware ‘K’ chassis. There is a change in the functionality in this model. The ‘K’ system comes with an AV cable, but if you want to play games in high-definition, you must use a HDMI cable. All future models of PS3 will also require a HDMI cable for high-definition.”
As to why Sony would make such a move, Ars Technica has a theory. “Some Sony Bravia televisions already require an HDMI connection to display video in the full 1080p resolution, and of course an HDMI connection is a protected path to your television, complete with a form of DRM called High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection, or HDCP for short.”
“This move will give Sony more control over how the image is used, while limiting the possibilities for recording or duplication. Also, retailers can now make a few bucks selling HDMI cables alongside the system.”
Also, selling a mandatory HDMI cable drives up add-ons sales in audio/visual stores.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor