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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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Not happy about this bit...
By Amiga500 on 7/9/2007 9:00:38 AM , Rating: 3
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.”

A PS3 is currently £425 over here - thats around $800-850US!!!

The Europeans are paying wayyy over the odds compared to the Americas, yet no sign of a price cut, or is it Sony doing the denial act right up until they relent?

RE: Not happy about this bit...
By Master Kenobi on 7/9/2007 9:12:51 AM , Rating: 4
Europe is far more expensive to do business in as well. Import taxes, selling fees, Tax, VAT, and more.... Very expensive to import and sell products to Europe.

RE: Not happy about this bit...
By Flunk on 7/9/2007 9:18:19 AM , Rating: 3
Also taxes are not included on the selling price. The prices quoted above do not include tax which can be as high as 14% (Ontario, Canada)

RE: Not happy about this bit...
By oTAL on 7/11/2007 10:01:22 AM , Rating: 1
Plus, we get 2 year minimum mandatory warranty for every product. As MS showed us recently, that can cost a bucket load of money. Yet, we are better protected against shoddy corporations. Imagine if a company had a product like the Xbox 360 and decided they don't give a shit that it usually breaks after 3-6 months after you bought it (fortunately MS took the responsible route and they deserve praise for that). Your loss! Lots of broken products filling landfills. Lots of you would say that company would not sell anymore products because noone would buy them.
I believe this reasoning doesn't work for 2 reasons:

1 - If the marketing is good enough, and the product is not VERY expensive and not reliant on a community, most people don't tell their friends that a product broke. Sony TVs have a somewhat high failure rate - compared to other similarly priced competitors they last considerably less (although not absurdly less). Yet people don't talk about it and when John Doe goes out to buy a TV Sony is a reference name despite selling overpriced,shorter lasting products.

2 - Even if a company can't maintain a reputation after a product collapses, they can just close down, take the money, and open a new company afresh... rinse and repeat.

The EU regulations cost money. You can't expect to have the same prices you can get in the US. Still, you get better service. It's definitely worth it.

As for the price difference when it comes to recent products like the PS3, it is caused by the great devaluation of the USD. The truth is when the dollar was on parity with EURO, things still costed the same amount on both currencies. Right now we are getting robbed by that, but it doesn't really affect us as consumers... unless you live in europe and are paid in USD.

RE: Not happy about this bit...
By DingieM on 7/9/2007 9:23:00 AM , Rating: 2
Especially Britain compared to other parts of Europe.

Only 20Gb more and a game that may not be interesting?
This deal won't make much difference as a price-drop for the Xbox360 is highly likely to occur this year because the PS3 dropped in price.

The new price will come closer to people who desperately want this PS3.

Too bad the exclusive games for the PS3 suck in comparison to the Xbox360 ones. I know its a personal opinion.

RE: Not happy about this bit...
By Spivonious on 7/9/2007 9:55:07 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah but for a meal at McDonalds it can cost over £5! I would be outraged if I had to pay $10 for a hamburger and fries at a fast food place.

RE: Not happy about this bit...
By Merry on 7/9/2007 10:05:08 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah but for a meal at McDonalds it can cost over £5! I would be outraged if I had to pay $10 for a hamburger and fries at a fast food place.

Yes it is more expensive in the Uk(17.5% more expensive for VAT), but i'm led to believe that most goods sold here are over that amount more expensive.

Could also have something do do with the fact the pound is rather strong in relation to the dollar at the moment too, also £5 is pretty much less than three quarters of an hours worth of work here (for me as a student that is), so relativley its not so expensive for us.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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