Yes, the Sony PS3 is an awesome gaming device. For many users, its ability to be a fully functional BluRay movie player is just as important - if not MORE important. How well does it perform this functionality?
We have owned our Sony PlayStation 3 since its launch and have been playing BluRay movies on it pretty much from the day we brought the unit home. It is really amazing how much better a BluRay movie looks than its standard DVD companion. We've even gotten the same movie in both "regular DVD" and BluRay format and run them one after another to see the difference. It's impressive.
Considering that many BluRay players cost TWICE (if not more) than the PS3 cost, you can see why buying a PS3 to play your BluRay movies on your high definition TV is quite appealing.
First, the #1 concern everybody has is noise. The XBox 360 is infamous for having a fan that is so loud in its unit that you literally cannot hear the movie over the fan noise in some cases. I have several articles which talk about this well known problem.
Do not worry. The PS3 is whisper silent. This is especially true with newer models. If your aim is playing BluRay movies, make sure you get a NEW model of the PS3 that is NOT backwards compatible with PS2 games. This may sound counter-intuitive. Why would you want a model with less ability? The thing is that having a power unit inside the PS3 which can handle the older PS2 games means it runs much hotter - sucking down more energy, requiring a heavy duty fan to keep the unit cool and functional. This means the older (backwards compatible) units were sometimes noisy.
If instead you get a newer model that is NOT backwards compatible, you also get a much more streamlined unit with lower power consumption and a super quiet fan. This is well worth it!! You can always buy a PS2 for hardly any money if you really want to play PS2 games. In the meantime, your PS3 will play an awesome range of PS3 games and be perfectly silent while you watch BluRay DVDs.
Make sure you buy the PS3 DVD remote - separately - so that you can easily fast forward and control your DVD watching experience easily. The link to my review of that is below.
So to summarize, we use our new-model PS3 all the time for BluRay watching, and it is perfect for this task.