Putting an end to one of the worst-kept secrets of the year,
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe today confirmed the existence of a lower-priced
40GB PlayStation 3 model by announcing its availability across Europe, Middle
East, Africa and Australasia starting October 10. The new model will retail for
€399, or about 20 percent less than the 60GB bundle.
To help keep costs down, the new 40GB model does with only
two USB ports, instead of four on all previous PS3 consoles, and no memory card
reader. This falls in line with Sony’s filings with the FCC,
saw only two USB ports tested with no mention of a memory card reader
The now-extinct 20GB
PlayStation 3 also was without a memory card reader – which on the 60GB and
80GB models read Compact Flash, Secure Digital and Memory Stick media – in the
interest of cost savings. Unlike the entry-level 20GB, however, the 40GB PS3
appears to retain the same silver-trim bling of the 60GB and 80GB models.
Oddly enough, the new 40GB model is not compatible with any
PlayStation 2 titles. Dedicated PlayStation 2 hardware was removed previously in
a PlayStation 3 hardware revision, though machines still retained some
backwards compatibility functions through software emulation. It is still
unclear if the 40GB model represents a further simplified PS3 hardware specification,
though that is likely the case.
Sony’s press release explained that the removal of backwards
compatibility in the 40GB model reflects “both the reduced emphasis placed on
this feature amongst later purchasers of PS3, as well as the availability of a
more extensive line-up of PS3 specific titles.”
Sony UK boss Ray Maguire elaborated in an interview
that the company would be “better off” diverting the funds for backwards
compatibility into either investing in new games or further reducing the PS3’s
Maguire admits that the removal of all PS2 backwards
compatibility “was a big decision... and we know it is a very emotive subject
as lots of people think that backwards compatibility is high on the agenda and
yet few really use it.”
SCEE spokesman Nick Sharples further added, “We
have made clear on many occasions that our priority is on developing innovative
new features and services for PS3 and not on backwards compatibility. The 40GB
model no longer contains any elements of the PS2 chip set which powered
backwards compatibility in previous models, and is therefore only compatible
with PS one titles.”
Sharples added that the 60GB bundle will be price reduced
for those who are keen in playing PS2 games on the newer system. “For those who
consider backwards compatibility important, the 60GB Starter Pack with extra
SIXAXIS controller, two first party titles and extensive backwards compatibility
remains available until stocks run out. With a 100 Euro price reduction from
10th October, this model is a real bargain,” he said.
Sony’s opinion regarding importance of backwards
compatibility differs greatly from that of before the PlayStation 3’s launch.
As Joystiq points out, Sony Worldwide
boss Phil Harrison said in a GamePro
interview from 2006, “Backwards compatibility, as you know from PlayStation One
and PlayStation 2, is a core value of what we believe we should offer. And
access to the library of content people have created, bought for themselves,
and accumulated over the years is necessary to create a format. PlayStation is
a format meaning that it transcends many devices -- PSOne, PS2, and now PS3.”
The ability to serve as an excellent home theatre device,
however, remains a part of the 40GB model. In addition to being one of the
Blu-ray Disc players on the market, the PS3 can also make DVDs look better with
the 1080p upscaling
capabilities of the latest firmware.
Although PlayStation fans finally got their wish for the
return of force feedback after Sony unveiled the DualShock
3 at the Tokyo Game Show, the new 40GB package will still include the
SIXAXIS controller. The DualShock 3 is scheduled for availability next month in
Japan, with North America and Europe releases planned for spring 2008.
SCEA has yet to confirm or deny the existence of the 40GB
model for North America, despite the product already being listed in the inventory at
several retailers and the UPC database for availability sometime late
quote: No matter what other ill-planned moves they've pulled in the past with relation to the PS3, I can't see them (removing backwards compatibility entirely)
quote: It sadly appears that I stand corrected
quote: WHy would you buy a PS3 to play old PS2 games anyhow.
quote: I just love reading posts about how all these people were just waiting to get a PS3 for under $400, and yet now that Sony announced no BC, they're just not interested. Yeah, right. Like that's the reason to buy a PS3.
quote: ever think of buying PS2 used so you don't have to pay retail price? Or spend another $100 dollar to get the 60GB version instead?I hope you do know that you are getting an emulator instead of a full blown PS2 engine which is going to play your game a lot better and won't leave you a bad taste on your mouth.As far as the $400 bucks PS3, I have been waiting for this for the longest time and I will buy it when GT 5 comes to the market next year. I do not care about PSOne or PS2 BC; I still own both and they are still working! I do not feel sorry for the BC whiners...wait you don't even own one and now you still whine about it?Get the picture, buddy? Shut up!
quote: all you americans must look at us here and laugh - we earn less that you do and everything costs us much more
quote: so that's 300 pounds in uk and 400 dollars in usa. what's wrong with this picture?
quote: was thinking more about dole bludgers who are more interested in getting their PS3 and a hit instead of whether their kids make it to school that day or not.
quote: Now Sony and MS are telling you that you have to pay different amounts for the system itself to have certain features.
quote: does anyone else have the feeling that maybe sony rushed the PS3 to stores and now they are trying to turn it into what they originally wanted it to be? first we get 3 different ahrdware versions and firmware updates that really just add basic functionality that should have been in there from the start, and now they remove the backwards compatibility?and how much money will they really save by deleting 2 USB ports? 5 cents?
quote: i still don't see the point in buying a PS3. when i can get one for 300 bucks (including WiFi) and when there are good games then maybe i'll change my mind, but until then i'm sticking with my PC
quote: I'm not exactly sure what the USB ports are for (since I haven't spent any quality time with the console), but since the controllers are wireless, I don't think dropping two ports is an issue.
quote: The smaller drive too isn't even an issue since 40gb is probably enough for most people. 40gb can store a lot of media,
quote: Sony still doesn't get it you need to match $50 of wii price before you get people to factor in the other benfits..
quote: Your other competitor the WII blows you away on price and fun factory. Most familes are more then willing to spring for 250bucks and another 100 bucks for games the whole family will have fun.
quote: Sony UK boss Ray Maguire elaborated in an interview that the company would be “better off” diverting the funds for backwards compatibility into either investing in new games or further reducing the PS3’s price.
quote: 40GB will be the cheapest PS3 yet, but no PS2 backwards compatibility will be the price to pay