Print 5 comment(s) - last by Trisped.. on Mar 1 at 6:23 PM

No chrome trim means 20GB
20GB PlayStation 3 consoles are hard to find

Sony’s belief that the PlayStation 3 is still hard to find may not be completely baseless. While gamers are reporting sightings of 60GB PS3’s on store shelves, the 20GB variant seems to be harder to find. They’re certainly not being shipped off to Europe for the March 23 launch, as territories outside of Japan and North American don’t appear to be even getting a choice to purchase the cheaper console.

Is Sony quietly phasing out the 20GB model? Sony says no, saying that retailers simply aren’t ordering them. "The type of model found in stores is completely up to what the retailer orders, so if they don't see a big demand for a particular SKU, they simply don't order it from us,” explained Sony Computer Entertainment America PR head David Karraker to Next-Gen. “We continue to manufacture both.”

Karraker adds, “At this time there are no plans to change our US model offerings,” that Sony is maintaining its 80 percent 60GB and 20 percent 20GB split.

The 60GB PS3 was forecasted to be and still is the more desirable version. Personally, the $100 difference was well worth it for the extra 40GB, Wi-Fi and my still unused memory card reader on my PS3. For others though, especially if price is still a point of contention, that $100 represents money that could be put into a game and/or second controller.

Honestly though, hardcore gamers should just shell out the extra coin for the bigger hard drive alone. We’re all aware of how small the Xbox 360 hard drive looks after downloading a high-def movie and a couple demos, so getting a PS3 with a hard drive with more storage space than what’s available on the Xbox 360 seems to only make sense.

The group who likely misses the 20GB console the most are non-gamers, specifically home theater enthusiasts. I’m talking about those people who are buying a PS3 for its Blu-ray capabilities alone. As a movie player, the 20GB gives up nothing when compared to the 60GB. Things may be different if Sony didn’t decide to include HDMI on the lesser PS3, but as it is now, the 20GB system represents a stunning value those looking for a Blu-ray Disc player.

Considering that Sony loses more money on every 20GB machine sold than on the 60GB, there’s incentive there on the business side to quietly phase out the 20GB, regardless of what the PR folk are saying. Sony is already subsidizing gamers with the PS3, and I can’t imagine the company wanting to subsidize the Blu-ray movie market as well. Sony has recently announced a cheaper (but probably not quite cheap enough) alternative for movie watchers.

Personally, I am not at all opposed to seeing the 20GB go the way of the do-do. I am, however, opposed to the extinction of the Emotion Engine and Graphics Synthesizer chip… but that’s for another editorial.

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By JimFear on 3/1/2007 8:03:06 AM , Rating: 2
I was more looking forward to getting the 20GB version as I wont use the wireless or card reader and would be getting a bigger hard drive which is a shame, however I'm not fussed about the loss of emotion engine. I reckon Sony will get a software emulator working as that was the plan all along, less components = less heat and less chance of breaking so that can only be a good thing, with updatable firmware its possible to add new features, they only cut the EE+GS out of european models because the EU is very strict on consumer electronics and their lifespan and the PS3 is already a complex bit of kit.

RE: Hmm
By Trisped on 3/1/2007 6:23:01 PM , Rating: 3
Energy use and heat issues would actually be higher without the EE+GS chip. With out them, all the commands will have to be emulated, meaning extra work for the processor as it translates machine codes and adjusts values to deal with the changes in architecture. While the amount of heat generated doing this will be less then the original PS2 systems, the chips removed would have used gates the same size, meaning almost the same power use per calculation as the normal PS3 hardware. But, with the emulator chips performing fewer calculations there would be lower heat dissipation and energy loss.

Environmental regulations in EU do sound like a good reason for the removal of the chip, but it is only one chip so it doesn't sound very likely.

By Trisped on 2/28/2007 9:35:14 PM , Rating: 2
That’s funny, I thought you could swap out the hard drive if you wanted. For $100 I could get a 100-120GB 2.5" drive, $15 gives you a card reader, and I don't use wireless networking for speed and stability issues.

Wasn't there an HDMI issue with one, or did they decide to offer it with both?

RE: Funny...
By nurbsenvi on 2/28/2007 10:39:03 PM , Rating: 2
Wasn't there an HDMI issue with one, or did they decide to offer it with both?

They decided to offer on both SKUs.

No troubles in my neck of the woods
By SunAngel on 2/28/07, Rating: -1
"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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