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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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RE: 80gb version
By Amiga500 on 7/9/2007 8:55:51 AM , Rating: 2
Im not sure on this, but isn't it the other way around?

i.e. the european chips use emulation software, while the rest of the world gets the chip?

Either way, it doesn't really matter, the PS3 has power to burn compared to the PS2 (so it can happily chug away half of it on an emulator).


RE: 80gb version
By Griswold on 7/9/2007 9:11:12 AM , Rating: 2
You got that right, the latest revision is the EU one and it uses an emulator. The rest of the world will eventually follow - it cuts down on the production cost after all.


RE: 80gb version
By Chadder007 on 7/9/2007 9:12:18 AM , Rating: 2
True...it is indeed the other way around. Hardware chip for everywhere but Europe which got the software emulator. Not sure on this new model though.


RE: 80gb version
By GoatMonkey on 7/9/2007 9:35:08 AM , Rating: 2
Ah, ok. Sorry about that, I must have misread that somewhere.


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