Here's a hard-to-beat Black Friday shopping tip: Sign up for one of Sony's new Visa-partnered credit cards before December 31, get $150 credit on the card with the purchase of a PlayStation 3. No other strings attached, and you get additional "bonus points" redeemable toward Sony purchases each time you use the card. Sony even touts the card as having "no annual fee, full Visa Platinum benefits, and...double your warranty protection."
Note that it's not a flat $150 cash rebate or simply $150 lopped off the top, but $150 credited to your PlayStation Visa card -- presumably you still pay full price for the PS3 at point of purchase. Still, $150 is $150, which changes things up considerably if you pull that number off the base cost off yesterday's 360/PS3 comparison chart.
(Note I'm only charting official deals here, not third-party retailer discounts.)
Is this the dealmaker we've been waiting for? Unless you're fresh out of kind things to say about Sony, it's pretty hard to argue with 150 bucks. It's effectively a temporary holiday price drop with some minor paperwork on the side. All the stuff about figuring out which system has the games you want to play of course still applies.
Then there's the is-it-smart-to-get-a-credit-card question in light of recent economic trends. Is Sony trying to entice you to spend more than $150? Of course they are. But you certainly don't have to. It's technically never a good time to have a credit card unless you're responsible with it, right?