There was a time when people thought it was crazy for Sony to enter into the console market. Nobody knew what to expect from a "Playstation", but both of their major competitors dropped the ball -- the Sega Saturn's dual processor architecture was too hard to develop for and focused more on 2D graphics than 3D and Nintendo's N64 was just primitive. Cartridges? Talk about behind the times. Sony had a half-ounce of foresight, making a console that was easy to develop for (and cheap as dirt to make) that focused more on 3D processing than 2D, and they became the industry leader (thanks also to a Sony Inc. first -- they made 3rd party licensing easy and painless which they have since stopped in the PS2).
It was good design on one hand that made the PSX a good console (in spite of it's many hardware design flaws). And it was lucky for Sony that their competitors didn't make the right choices at the same time. Is it Sony's turn to make the mistakes this generation? I haven't seen a single thing about the PS3 that makes me even remotely interested in buying one, and at those prices, it's pretty much a guarantee that I won't now.
Sony still has their brand and giant marketing machine going for them so they could end up on top this generation by default (much the same way Microsoft always does). I don't know if they have the chutzpah to lie about the PS3's capabilities they way they did with the PS2 prior to its launch (which I will never stop bringing up or forgive them for), but I wouldn't put it past them. I wouldn't put it past them to have a crappy game line up for a year either (again).
Frankly, I don't trust Sony anymore, and not just SCEA, but the whole company -- what with the CD malware scandal, their idiotic insistence on using ATRAC instead of MP3 in their music players, the brain dead DRM in the Libre and their inability to learn from their licensing mistakes with their media technology (going from Memory Stick and MiniDiscs all the way back to BetaMax)... I've yet to see any indication that BluRay won't meet the same fate.
I used to buy Sony stuff almost exclusively -- I still have a lot of it (still love my monitor). But lately, it seems like Sony is less and less reliable as a whole. They won't be getting any more of my money. I've already decided to stop throwing good money after bad. From now on, it's different cameras, computers, DVD players, peripherals and consoles. Sony always turns a profit from these debacles, but it always ends up being at the expense of the consumer who buys their product. I'm through with them altogether.
In the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "I drank what?"