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Along with $100 off the 60GB model, SCEA announces an 80GB PS3 Motorstorm bundle for August

It’s official – the PlayStation 3 has dropped $100 less than eight months after it’s highly anticipated launch. According to the official press release, the current 60GB will carry a $499 price tag effective today.

The $499 price point was previously occupied by the 20GB version of the PlayStation 3. Citing reasons related to consumer demand, Sony in April discontinued the $499 20GB PlayStation 3 leaving only the more expensive 60GB model on the market.

Word of the price cut first appeared last week when retailer flyers appeared across the U.S. and Canada showing the Sony console with the lower price. It was originally believed that Sony would announce the price cut during its E3 press conference on July 11, though the company may have decided to bump up its date after the cat found its way out of the bag.

Unknown last week, but announced today by SCEA is an upcoming new PlayStation 3 model with an 80GB hard drive. The 80GB PlayStation 3 will occupy the $599 price point that the 60GB previously held, and will also come packed in with a full version of racing game MotorStorm. The 80GB MotorStorm bundle will begin shipping in August.

“As we move into the next phase of PS3, it's important that we continue to evaluate our product line, offering consumers the technology and features that meet their growing needs for new forms of media and the way in which it is delivered,” said Jack Tretton, president and CEO of SCEA. “The introduction of the 80GB PS3, the new pricing for the current 60GB model, the availability of more than 100 new software titles this fiscal year and, finally, the expansion of services for PlayStation Network, will provide even more options for users and will help bring new consumers into the PS3 fold.”

Rumblings of a PlayStation 3 with larger hard disk drive capacity first came in March when Sony filed with the FCC papers describing a PlayStation 3 with an 80 GB hard drive inside. Sony did not confirm nor deny the plans for an 80 GB unit at that time, saying only, “As mentioned when we made the product announcement for PS3, the system will have different configurations (thus, 60GB HDD with memory card slots and Wi-Fi and 20GB HDD without memory card slots or Wi-Fi both exist). Application to the FCC has been made with various possibilities in mind, however, it does not lead to a new product announcement at this time.”

Then, during the second half of May, Sony announced an 80GB PlayStation 3 for the Korean market, citing the country’s high speed network infrastructure and video-on-demand systems as a reason for the extra 20GB.

After the 80GB PlayStation 3 was revealed for Korea, SCEA responded to questions regarding the larger drive’s release in North America, saying, “We’re constantly looking at new… configurations [for PS3], but currently there are no plans to change current hardware offerings [in North America].”

Now that the price of the 60GB PS3 is slashed by $100, might this be a sign of things to come for Europe and Australia? Not yet, as Karraker says, “This news does not affect any other PS3 territory.”

Only eight months after release, the price cut for the PS3 may be one of the quickest in console history. With $100 off the current top model, Sony may be responding to the relatively sluggish sales of its consoles when compared against its competition.

Price is a common point of contention for those who haven’t yet picked up a PlayStation 3, though many point to the current lack of exclusive, compelling software. “Even with a $100 drop, the PS3 is still the high-end console,” Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian told GameSpot. “But price cuts typically generate incremental demand, and I don't think this situation will be any different. Bottom line, this may not be enough to kick-start PS3 sales into the mass market—but it's a good first step.”

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By HotdogIT on 7/9/2007 8:36:36 AM , Rating: 2
As my friend said when the PS3 originally came out, and many others echoed:

"Hell of a price for a Blu-Ray player!"

With 5 free Blu-Ray titles, makes it semi-attractive. If you're looking for that, of course.

RE: Blu-ray..
By AlexWade on 7/9/2007 8:38:27 AM , Rating: 3
It is attractive, and I do want one. Too bad I cannot afford it. And I'm in the majority.

RE: Blu-ray..
By therealnickdanger on 7/9/2007 9:14:15 AM , Rating: 2
I'd rather buy a $250 Toshiba HD-DVD player and get 5 free HD-DVDs. Half the price with picture and sound every bit as good, plus much better upscaling of standard DVDs. With Dragon Lair coming to HD-DVD, it will have as many games as the PS3 as well. :P

RE: Blu-ray..
By corduroygt on 7/10/2007 9:03:41 AM , Rating: 1
Mr. HDDVD fudboy, could you please explain how is the $250 toshiba player upscaling better than the PS3, especially when it cannot output at 1080p?

RE: Blu-ray..
By Chris Peredun on 7/10/2007 10:08:56 AM , Rating: 2
I realize I'm probably opening a real can of bees here (yes, bees - worms are easier to contain, and there's no real danger) but when it comes to 24fps film content, 1080i and 1080p are (essentially) identical, provided that your HDTV has proper inverse telecine ("IVTC" or "reverse 3:2 pulldown") detection and functionality. 24 progressive frames can be converted to and from 60 interlaced fields without quality loss.

And also, upscaling quality obviously differs between players. I don't own the Toshiba HD-A2 (which I assume is the player in question) so I can't speak to that effect.

RE: Blu-ray..
By pammy ut on 7/10/2007 6:36:08 AM , Rating: 2
As my friend said when the PS3 originally came out, and many others echoed:

"Hell of a price for a Blu-Ray player!"

With 5 free Blu-Ray titles, makes it semi-attractive. If you're looking for that, of course.

Exactly, it's awesome for blu-ray movies.

And that's what the PS3 is -- a movie player -- that also happens to play some games too.

Due to the poor design of the PS3 system, game developers have been crippled trying to design and program for what they often call a "mess". Sadly, it appears the PS3 will never be able to realize the dream of being a pure gaming system.

I can't imagine anybody buying the PS3 strictly as a game machine, because it simply can't compete with the games on XBOX360.

The PS3... it's more like a blu-ray player with a *bonus*.

RE: Blu-ray..
By Mach Omega on 7/10/2007 2:10:08 PM , Rating: 2
Pammy, do you ever contribute anything that isn't completely conjectural? The PS2 was supposedly extremely difficult to program but developers managed to scrape through and put together some awesome games. As for the PS3 not competing with the 360 as a gaming machine, you DO realize that the machines are basically the same from a raw horsepower perspective? What I think is ironic is that, while the 360 supposedly has a better GPU, the same games for the PS3 generally look slightly better. What's up with that?

Architectural differences and dev toolkits make the 360 EASIER to program but developers can and will make great games for the PS3. It'll be tougher but it's not Chinese arithmetic. What's with all the FUD?

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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