Update: Sony have just called to confirm that you CAN actually record while playing games. There will be a message in the final build of the code that will ask you to reboot your PS3 to enable the background recording functionality.
This rather important bit of info was missing from the review build I have been using! Lovely. I'll have a look over the next few days and see what, if any, impact recording has when playing a game but clearly this makes PlayTV are far more interesting proposition.
The Guardian has reviewed the PlayTV from Sony for the PS3 and report back that the pricing is right for a basic PVR at £70, although the device is just a bit too restrictive to recommend.
They spot a few caveats with the product such as you need to have PlayTV to actually watch your recordings and question who the PlayTV is actually aimed at as early adopters are likely to have Sky + or a freeview PVR.
To quote: And for basic use the PlayTV is fine. Recording, scheduling and pausing live TV will feel like a revelation to those used to a basic Freeview box. Unfortunately you can't record two programmes at once - you can record one channel and watch Live TV on another though - which feels a little restrictive. Also, annoyingly, you seem to need to have PlayTV connected to actually watch your recordings.
It's hard to see who PlayTV is aimed at. Gadget fan early adopters are likely to have Sky + or a Freeview PVR. Maybe it would work better on a second TV though you need a fixed aerial unless you have super strong Freeview signal. The lack of quick PSP transfer is a blow but could it be outweighed by the ability to record TV and play at the same time? I'll let you know next week. More PlayStation 3 News...