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An early screenshot of the memo  (Source: Best Buy)
Sony could be moving to a single SKU world

This console generation brought with it not only high-definition graphics, downloadable content, and seamless multiplayer experiences; it also introduced the concept of selling multiple variations of the same basic hardware.

While Microsoft isn’t shy to continually send new retail Xbox 360 SKUs to stores, Sony appears to be slimming down the choices for those looking for a PlayStation 3, if internal documents from a big box retailer are any indication.

An internal memo intended for Best Buy employees, obtained by PS3 Fanboy, informs that the 80GB PS3 is “going closeout.”

The full memo reads, “The 80GB version of the PS3 is going closeout and won’t be replaced at this time. I will come off the planogram on Jan. 28. The 60GB version should already be gone from stores. Only the 40GB version of the PS3 will be sold in Best Buy stores at this time. This means that there currently isn’t a version that is PS2 compatible.

“At this time, Sony hasn’t made any announcements about new products.”

If the Best Buy memo is indicative of the retail market in North America, then Sony could be moving towards a single production design – at least for now. The only variation between the SKUs in the coming future could be color.

A “ceramic white” PlayStation 3 console has been available in Japan since last Fall, and according to recent FCC filings, it could soon be landing in the U.S.

60GB machines are no longer produced for Europe and 20GB and 60GB machines were recently discontinued in Japan, leaving only the 40GB version.

Although sales numbers of PlayStation 3 consoles are available every month, Sony does not reveal the split in units between the 80GB and 40GB SKUs. Should the less expensive 40GB model sell significantly better than the 80GB, Sony may feel that its full attention should be put towards to promoting the most affordable system.



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How many times can Sony screw up in one generation?!
By Goty on 1/25/2008 10:26:42 AM , Rating: 4
You'd think the backlash from the crippled BC for the 80GB version and the lack of it for the 40GB version of the PS3 would have been enough to tell Sony that users WANT BC. How stupid can they honestly be to now stop offering the only model left with some semblance of BC?!




By Amiga500 on 1/25/2008 10:29:59 AM , Rating: 4
Or perhaps the LACK of a backlash is telling Sony people don't really care about BC at all.

After all, if they have PS2 games, it is logical to assume they have a PS2 to play them on.


By therealnickdanger on 1/25/2008 10:52:39 AM , Rating: 2
That would be my take on it as well... some people pride themselves on having a sh*tty rat's nest of wires. :P


By Samus on 1/25/2008 6:33:15 PM , Rating: 2
I'm genuinely curious how much of a PITA this is for developers. With constantly changing hard drive sizes, new controllers (force feedback finally re-introduced) and sketchy backwards compatibility (I lost track of which ones have it in hardware, which ones have it emulated, and which ones dont have it at all!) it's gatta be a rough world for developers, too.


By Samus on 1/25/2008 6:35:43 PM , Rating: 2
Ohh yea...

DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS


By enlil242 on 1/25/2008 12:10:33 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmm, when I went to Best Buy a couple weeks ago to pick up a 40GB, there wasn't an 80GB model to be had. I asked where they all were thinking they weren't in demand, but the "blue shirt" claimed they have had a hard time keeping them in stock throughout Christmas and the first couple weeks of January.

Now I am not sure if it was due to demand or low stock, or a combination of both of these factors. That's just what I was told. I really didn't care as I was interested in a 40GB model.


By wempa on 1/25/2008 1:02:18 PM , Rating: 3
The are other reasons one might want BC. For example, my wife won an original 60GB PS3 in a poker tournament. Since I've only owned Xbox consoles, that's the first Playstation either of us has owned. She immediately saw a few PS2 games she wanted and received some as gifts for Christmas. If other people are in the same situation , where PS3 is their first Sony console, the BC is definitely a nice feature to have. Whether or not they choose to support BC is fine, but once they make the decision, they shouldn't be changing things like they are now.


By BansheeX on 1/25/2008 2:59:59 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Or perhaps the LACK of a backlash is telling Sony people don't really care about BC at all.

After all, if they have PS2 games, it is logical to assume they have a PS2 to play them on.


True that. And the extra $100 they're asking for these models could just as easily be spent on a brand new PS2 if they didn't. People caring about wire clutter could easily find a BC model now or in the future on ebay. Millions of these models have already been made. That is enough for those who cared, it's time to move on and focus on reducing the price of the PS3 to compete with MS's cheap optical drive and build quality price cutting tactics.


By ATC on 1/25/2008 3:47:00 PM , Rating: 3
So true. I was so adamant about getting a PS3 with BC that I got the 80gb version and I blasted the 40 model for the lack of it every chance I got.

And on my 80gb I have played my PS2 games on it exactly once. And that instance was merely to test and see if it works, and it did.

I'm not saying BC is useless for everyone at all, but in practise for me personally I found the feature useless and in retrospect I would have been just as happy now with an 80bg version sans BC. BC for me has turned out to be a marketing hype, a check-box so to speak that Sony had to include to compete with the 360.


By Manch on 1/27/2008 4:35:08 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
BC for me has turned out to be a marketing hype, a check-box so to speak that Sony had to include to compete with the 360.


Wasn't it originally prior to the launch of this generation that the 360 did not have BC and Sony did so wasn't it MS that added the feature thru emulation due to consumer backlash and to check that box and compete with Sony?

The PS2 still sells quite well and a lot of games still come out for it. The BC was a selling point for me personally. Hell I still play DC games. Granted there are quite a few of them I don't play anymore but the fighting games and some of the arcade style games I still play. So yeah the feature is worth more to some than others. Besides without BC you only have a couple of games worth playing on yer PS3 anyways! ~jk

Like you said you don't use it like you thought you would. Still I would prefer that Sony have a "High End" SKU with BC and then a lower SKU without it. That would quell some of the bitching people have about it and also give consumers the choice. I think it would mend those broken fences and then Sony could use it for market hype too.


By Chris Peredun on 1/25/2008 10:37:49 AM , Rating: 1
I wouldn't jump right to the conclusion that every backwards-compatible PS3 is going the way of the dodo - just this specific SKU (Motorstorm bundle.)

I predict a new SKU (120GB, no bundled game) to be arriving to coincide with the clearance-pricing on the 80GBs and release of the 40GB Ceramic White PS3s.


By reader1 on 1/25/2008 11:37:49 AM , Rating: 5
I doubt that. I think they'll move to one hardware design because it's cheaper and easier. There could still be bundles and HDD size differences, but manufacturing two different PS3 systems with such small hardware differences is pretty pointless. The minimal impact BC has on sales is short-term and anyone who wanted BC in a PS3 has already bought one.


By Shoal07 on 1/25/2008 11:55:19 AM , Rating: 1
Exactly... If you're one of the minority who gives a **** about BC, you already bought a PS3 when the 60GBs went on sale and were being discontinued (or before). I did because of #1 price drop, #2 5 free movies (this was new), #3 BC because my PS2 is broke.


By Chris Peredun on 1/25/2008 11:55:42 AM , Rating: 4
Bear in mind that anyone with a BC-capable PS3 - be it 20, 60, or 80GB - will be expecting the same back from a repair. Sony will at least need to keep enough stock on hand to replace any of those units.


By Polynikes on 1/25/2008 10:59:23 AM , Rating: 3
Someday, when I want to get a PS3, I'll strongly consider getting a 60GB model used.


By HrilL on 1/25/2008 11:23:58 AM , Rating: 2
Some Kmart's still got those new. It won't be listed but if you go and ask a lot of times they have them still. My Brother and his friend both just got 60GB ones since they both wanted full BC.


By Polynikes on 1/25/2008 5:03:10 PM , Rating: 2
I guess we'll see, I'm still waiting on more games (MGS4, GT5, etc) to come out.


By cubdukat on 1/25/2008 11:54:51 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, you would, wouldn't you?

But then again, let's remember something:

This is the same company that was so paranoid about you ripping their CDs that they were willing to create a security risk on your computer, lied after said risk was found, and when it was proven, hemmed and hawed about telling you how to get rid of it.

This is the same company that tried to get over on people at a trade show where they allegedly showed off Blu-Ray on a laptop...using a regular DVD+R. And ten-to-one it wasn't encoded like a Blu-Ray disc would be; it was probably garden-variety SD DVD.

And you expect good sense from these people?

As far as I'm concerned, "It's a Sony" is more of a reason to stay away, not to buy it.

That totally tears it. I was looking at getting a PS3 80GB and a PS2 or a 60GB (if I could find it) PS3, but I think I'll stick with Vista for the time being (and I hate Vista), because XBox 360 seems to be just as screwy as the PS3. And there's no way in Hell you will even get me to consider a Wii. They probably made more games for the Amiga in its entire lifetime than have come out for the Wii this year.


By Chris Peredun on 1/25/2008 11:58:27 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Yeah, you would, wouldn't you?

But then again, let's remember something:

This is the same company that was so paranoid about you ripping their CDs that they were willing to create a security risk on your computer, lied after said risk was found, and when it was proven, hemmed and hawed about telling you how to get rid of it.

This is the same company that tried to get over on people at a trade show where they allegedly showed off Blu-Ray on a laptop...using a regular DVD+R. And ten-to-one it wasn't encoded like a Blu-Ray disc would be; it was probably garden-variety SD DVD.

And you expect good sense from these people?

As far as I'm concerned, "It's a Sony" is more of a reason to stay away, not to buy it.

That totally tears it. I was looking at getting a PS3 80GB and a PS2 or a 60GB (if I could find it) PS3, but I think I'll stick with Vista for the time being (and I hate Vista), because XBox 360 seems to be just as screwy as the PS3. And there's no way in Hell you will even get me to consider a Wii. They probably made more games for the Amiga in its entire lifetime than have come out for the Wii this year.


Cliffs: The grapes were probably sour, and you didn't want them anyways.


By daftrok on 1/25/2008 12:39:01 PM , Rating: 5
I believe that Sony is diligently (and covertly) working on emulation software that will allow us to have more BC, however their primary concern is THIS generation and not the LAST generation. Once PS3 really gets the cash flowing they can spend their time working on getting BC on the PS3.

Though the 40GB PS3 pisses me off in the sense that they pointlessly got rid of 2 USB ports and on top of that didn't even give it some form of BC. I realize that price was a primary concern but this was just ridiculous. How much money would they have lost if they kept the 2 USB ports and the "Graphic Synthesizer" chip that allowed BC?

Alas, we won't know Sony's true plans until they unravel, but know this:
1) When we wanted HDMI for the 20 GB PS3, they obliged
2) Firmware upgrades have met the demands of people constantly throughout the lifetime of the PS3
3) When we yearned for a more affordable PS3 they delivered, albeit with some sacrifices.


By deeznuts on 1/25/2008 1:17:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You'd think the backlash from the crippled BC for the 80GB version and the lack of it for the 40GB version of the PS3 would have been enough to tell Sony that users WANT BC.
Backlash is not as serious as you think it is. Probably limited to the internet to people who really wanted BC (hey I never had a PS1 or PS2) and those who want to bash Sony.

When I told two of my buddies who game that they dropped the price of the ps3 to 399 but no BC, they said, "awesome I don't care I have a ps2 IF i want to play a game."


By Locutus465 on 1/25/2008 2:22:28 PM , Rating: 2
Well, this is a dissapointment to me... If I *do* buy a PS3 I would absolutly want one with built in PS2 BC. I've never had a playstation before, so this would be very convinient for me as I would then be able to check out PS2 games as well. I've just been waiting for a price drop.


By BansheeX on 1/25/2008 2:44:58 PM , Rating: 2
And what incapacitates you from buying one off ebay later? Honestly, enough of these BC models were made and sold that it should be quite easy for anyone who was adamant about not getting a separate $99 PS2 to get one. These MS fans coming on here to scream foul is absolutely hilarious to me.


By Locutus465 on 1/25/2008 4:17:55 PM , Rating: 3
1). I much prefer buying new in this case than taking a chance on e-bay

2). I've got a Wii, 360, Toshiba HD-A2, Samsung BD-P1400 and Scientific Atlantic 8300Explorer HD already hooked up to my TV/Stereo. While I would like a PS3 for gaming (should the price fall enough) the last thing I need to add to my HT is a PS3 *AND* PS2!


By Locutus465 on 1/25/2008 4:25:26 PM , Rating: 2
3). If this comes to pass, it will likely come to pass before rumored price drops keeping the price of BC capable machines high.


By MrSmurf on 1/25/2008 9:52:20 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
You'd think the backlash from the crippled BC for the 80GB version and the lack of it for the 40GB version of the PS3 would have been enough to tell Sony that users WANT BC. How stupid can they honestly be to now stop offering the only model left with some semblance of BC?!


Where is this coming from? Sony's sales have skyrocketed due to the 40GB model. Obviously people would rather save $100 more than the extra space and BC.


I wonder...
By retrospooty on 1/25/2008 10:28:46 AM , Rating: 2
I looked at what the difference on the 80gig and 40 gig SKU's are, http://www.us.playstation.com/ps3/about/specs
and I wonder what the HDD itself costs? 80gig and 40gig are both obsolete from a mainstream perspective and I would assume both could be purchased for extremely cheap on a bulk contract like Sony would use. I bet its close to $20 for the 40gig and $24 for the 80gig.

Why the extra $100 pricetag for the 80?




RE: I wonder...
By Chris Peredun on 1/25/2008 10:33:51 AM , Rating: 3
The 80GB PS3 has more USB ports, a card reader, the remaining BC hardware (since the 80GB does not do full software BC, it's still hybrid HW+SW) and Motorstorm as a pack-in game.


RE: I wonder...
By retrospooty on 1/25/08, Rating: 0
RE: I wonder...
By Oroka on 1/25/2008 10:53:23 AM , Rating: 2
Good deal IMO. I currently play more PS2 games and I use the card reader fairly often. 4 USB ports are a bit overboard IMO, but not stupid overboard.

Sony recently announced that they are breaking even on manufacturing the PS3 (proably the 40GB), but the 80GB is proably still a loss. Sony proably wants to stop loosing money more than keeping a few (million) fans happy with BC. Right now most people wont use up thier 40GB HDD, but in time when they figure out what the PS3 can really do, if they need more space, it takes about 5 screws to install a bigger HDD.


RE: I wonder...
By Murst on 1/25/2008 12:02:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
4 USB ports are a bit overboard IMO, but not stupid overboard

I think all versions of the PS3 should include more USB ports actually. With rockband hooked up, I am already using up all 4 ports. I also have the bluetooth remote, so that saves a port, but there's remotes there that do use a USB port for a dongle. I can also imagine other accessories coming out that will require USB ports as well, such as steering wheels, etc.

Ideally, everything would use bluetooth, but there seems to be something strange w/ the PS3s bluetooth implementation that is causing developers to use the USB instead.

In the future, if a guitar comes out that uses USB instead of wireless, I'll probably consider getting that, since the current wireless ones just eat through batteries.


RE: I wonder...
By mydogfarted on 1/25/2008 5:50:54 PM , Rating: 2
I got suckered. I bought one of the 40GB models without doing some research, and bought Rock Band at the same time. It's really awesome that I need a minimum of 3 USB ports for Rock Band, yet Sony decided two was plenty.

Well, at least I have a nice Blu-Ray player to watch the 20-25 Blu-Ray titles that my local BlockBuster carries. *rolls eyes*

I was a huge Sony fan for years, my entire home theater setup is all Sony ES and a Wega TV. I've owned multiple PS1 and PS2, bought into Sony's MiniDisk hype, and had enough with them for several years. There is an old joke in the computer world "IBM: You can buy better, but you can't pay more." Sony is the new IBM in my eyes.


RE: I wonder...
By diablofish on 1/25/2008 10:54:44 AM , Rating: 2
And a game. Which is slightly better than meh.


RE: I wonder...
By retrospooty on 1/25/2008 12:18:20 PM , Rating: 4
You are right, I forgot the game. I will give it somewhere between a meh+ and a hmm- ... Still a far cry from an OH or a WOW. =)


RE: I wonder...
By Shoal07 on 1/25/2008 12:00:21 PM , Rating: 3
No, $100 for Motorstorm and a larger HD. The 60GB already had 4 USB ports, the multi card reader, and BC (full hardware BC too). The 60GB on its way out was 399. Those who passed it up at the time missed a great opportunity. Best Bluray player out there and God of War works flawlessly :)


Are they nuts?
By FITCamaro on 1/25/2008 10:26:44 AM , Rating: 1
They're seriously going to kill off a backwards compatible version? Well, that would be like Sony.




RE: Are they nuts?
By diablofish on 1/25/2008 10:56:01 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah. But the PS2 has such a huge install base (and outsells the PS3), it's a good move financially and probably won't matter much to the consumer.


RE: Are they nuts?
By grampaw on 1/25/2008 11:19:59 AM , Rating: 2
Sony is on record saying they do not want BC on the PS3 - they want you to buy PS3 games, where they will make money. The BC feature was just a device to get those consoles initially in homes when there were few PS3 games available - not the case now.

If you're using the PS3 for games and Blu-ray DVD viewing, why would you even need a 40GB hard drive? I would think 20GB is more than adequate, and 80GB gross overkill.

Just for the record - I have two PS3 consoles. About a year ago, I got the 60GB unit - it was only model available at that time. That unit sits in the home theater system, mainly to play Blu-ray, watch photo slide shows, and occasional gaming when the grandkids visit. Just last week I got a 40GB console for the Master Bedroom. It's purpose is to play Blu-ray movies (and perhaps load Ubuntu on) - couldn't see any sense in getting the 80GB model.


RE: Are they nuts?
By MasterTactician on 1/25/2008 11:31:58 AM , Rating: 2
Anybody who REALLY cares about backwards compat. has had PLENTY of time to get either a fully featured 60GB PS3, and there are still tons of 80GB on store shelves. Stop complaining. Anyways, what's to say Sony won't end up including full software PS2 emulation in a firmware update sometime down the road?


RE: Are they nuts?
By BansheeX on 1/25/2008 2:49:18 PM , Rating: 2
Plus ebay, on which they will be available forever. Millions of these models were made and they're very reliable if taken of.


RE: Are they nuts?
By Chris Peredun on 1/25/2008 1:31:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That (PS3) sits in the home theater system, mainly to play Blu-ray, watch photo slide shows, and occasional gaming when the grandkids visit.

Point of curiousity: Are you playing games with them, or watching? I'm intrigued as to which games are spanning the generation gap on the PS3, as most people think "Wii" when they picture three generations of gamers on one system.


HDD Size
By Slare on 1/25/2008 11:45:19 AM , Rating: 2
I bought a 40gb model some time ago and thought the same thing about the HDD - what would all that space go to? What's the point?

But then I started really understanding all the things the PS3 could do, and it made sense.

- You can load audio (mp3 etc.) and video (divx etc.) files and play them. You can stream these from a PC also, but I like having local copies.
- Demos are free, wireless/internet is rock solid, and the interface is easy. Demos take up ~0.5-1 gig of space each.
- Saves, while not huge, in some case may take up several hundred MB.
- Many games have install routines to speed them up, putting a gig or two of files on the HDD.
- You can load alternate OS like Linux, and then all the files associated with that.

So for a very simple console only / blue ray user only, 40gb is indeed a lot of space. But the above features are pretty nice, STABLE, and well integrated. So any techie user can find lots of use for that space... I ended up upgrading the drive rather quickly...




RE: HDD Size
By kilkennycat on 1/26/2008 2:40:51 AM , Rating: 2
Since I am totally unfamiliar with the 40 Gbyte PS3 and its internals, can a purchaser readily upgrade the hard-drive? If so what type of drive does it use (2.5, 3.5, SATA, IDE or what) and what is the maximum size limit without having to customize any of the installed firmware?


RE: HDD Size
By Captmorgan09 on 1/26/2008 9:19:28 AM , Rating: 2
2.5" SATA drive is what you would need to install. As for size limit, I'm not sure. I do know that for external USB hard drives the PS3 only supports drives formated in FAT32, so there's a size limit of the partition.

I doubt that it's using FAT32 for the partition on the built in drive though. I saw a post on Dailytech a while back that a guy installed a 250GB drive in his PS3.


Backwards Compatability is dead.
By reader1 on 1/25/2008 11:17:19 AM , Rating: 2
- No more BC PS3s.
- Xbox 360 BC is basically done (which was never really BC).
- Xbox originals.

Selling remakes and ports are the future.

The next systems won't have optical drives for their games. Including an optical drive just for BC would be idiotic.




By mles1551 on 1/26/2008 1:17:49 AM , Rating: 2
Yup, BC needs to go the way of the Dodo.

I have a launch 60gb that has full BC and I honestly thought that I would be playing PS2 games on it. Well I was wrong, I've played BF2 on it twice.

Depending on your preferred gaming genre I couldn't see a reason to play PS2 games at all. I'm a shooter fan, so there has been a steady stream of great games out since launch to occupy my time.

And I couldn't care what size HDD they include. Put 40's in all of them and let people choose what size they want to upgrade to. Sony could make some bank by selling their own PS3 brand upgrade HDDs.


Well the rub..
By OdinX on 1/25/2008 11:50:27 AM , Rating: 2
Is my knee jerk reaction to going and getting an 80gb vs. the possibility of a brand new 120gb with bc being announced shortly there after.




RE: Well the rub..
By mcturkey on 1/25/2008 12:12:24 PM , Rating: 2
I have a very hard time believing Sony is going to introduce another model of PS3 with backwards compatibility. Lower price matters a lot more than BC does for the overwhelming majority of the gaming populace, and I suspect that all production now is of the new motherboard design from the 40GB model. Since their introduction, the 80GB model was tagged as "Limited Edition" on the packaging, so it is no surprise to me that it is going away.

Honestly, if you can find a used 20 or 60GB model, that's your best bet, since they can be had dirt cheap while still providing full backwards compatibility.


160 GB?
By amanojaku on 1/25/2008 12:52:31 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps the 80 GB is being retired for the rumored 160 GB model?




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