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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: Just 20GB more?
By ObscureCaucasian on 7/9/2007 11:08:07 AM , Rating: 5
Actually MS charges $80 for an extra 100 gigs. Sony didn't drop the price to help consumers, they did it because no one was buying the things. Don't blame MS for not dropping the price, they're competing with a company that released a $600 console. I believe that if it were not for the high price of the PS3 we would not have an Xbox 360 Elite. Now that Sony has dropped the price to 499, MS may very well decide to drop theirs as well.

I personally think Shadowrun is worth 40-50, but definitely not 60. The 360 does have a much better holiday season coming up with titles like Halo 3, Mass Effect, Bioshock, Lost Odyssey, and Blue Dragon. Both 360 and PS3 owners can look forward to Assassins Creed, COD4, and GTA4.

Also, the unfortunate truth is that much of the population may not realize that there has been a price drop, many people would have known that there is a $600 and a $500 PS3, nothing has changed there.

RE: Just 20GB more?
By henrikfm on 7/9/2007 11:29:08 AM , Rating: 2
Sony didn't drop the price to help consumers, they did it because no one was buying the things.

All said. 80GB model is just a pretension.

RE: Just 20GB more?
By bkm32 on 7/9/2007 1:01:50 PM , Rating: 3
BC, I'm talking about the transition from Core to Pro. See, that's part of the problem: too many versions of the same console. Even a fanboy like you can't keep up.

RE: Just 20GB more?
By ObscureCaucasian on 7/9/2007 11:52:43 PM , Rating: 2
The Core isn't targeting a demographic that is concerned about getting the most gigabytes, it's for people who want the cheapest route to gaming. That said it's still generally accepted that it is well worth the extra $100 seeing as you get much more than just a HDD.

It costs much more to go from no disc drive to any disc drive then it is to switch between capacities. I'm sure bulk pricing on the drives Sony uses amounts to $5-$10 difference between $60 and $80.

Look at the precedent Sony set for itself. When the PS3 launched, $100 was worth 40 gigs, Wifi, and a few other features that I'm not familiar with. Now $100 is worth 20 gigs and a game consumers may or may not want. Personally if I bought a PS3 I would pass on Motorstorm.

RE: Just 20GB more?
By bkm32 on 7/10/2007 9:20:43 AM , Rating: 2
I stated fact not intent. There's a big difference.

RE: Just 20GB more?
By ObscureCaucasian on 7/10/2007 2:20:40 PM , Rating: 2
Twist the facts as you like.

RE: Just 20GB more?
By afkrotch on 7/28/2007 9:35:04 PM , Rating: 2
Lair, Warhawk, Heavenly Sword, Singstar, Playstation Home, Unreal Tournament 3, Time Crisis 4, Final Fantasy XIII (maybe this year - probably not though), Final Fantasy Version XIII (maybe this year - probably not though), Gran Turismo HD, and Tekken 6.

Course for me, early next year is more exciting. Also Blue Dragon blows ass. Trust me...I own the damn game. Came with the Xbox 360 Blue Dragon bundle. I'm more interested in Trusty Bell (Eternal Sonata). I moved out of Japan before the game came out. Course if PS3 owners are lucky, Trusty Bell will hit the PS3. Unless ESRB made a mistake on the games rating.

Unreal Tournament 3 will come to Xbox 360, but next year and it won't allow PC created mods or levels. Thanks to Microsoft for locking down the damn console. Can't even transfer mp3s onto the thing.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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