Canadian dollar finally acknowledged as more than just funny money

Early this morning, word of the 40GB PlayStation 3’s release date came from Jack Tretton, revealing that the new SKU will be launching on November 2. Shortly after, Sony Computer Entertainment America sent out an official press release confirming its president’s words.

As Tretton noted earlier, the 40GB PlayStation 3 will start selling on November 2 at $399. As many have been expecting, the 80GB will be priced at $499 – effective immediately.

In a move that is sure to delight Canadian gamers, SCEA is pricing its consoles nearly on par with the current U.S./Canadian dollar exchange rate. Gamers in Canada who once were looking at 80GB PS3 consoles for $699 each will now be able to pick them up for $499 – the same price paid as their U.S. counterparts. The 40GB PS3 will also be available in Canada for $399.

“We're pleased to offer the consumer a lower price point without sacrificing the core technology components that make PS3 the most advanced high-definition entertainment system available. Every PS3 comes with a Blu-ray drive, HDMI output, an integrated Wi-Fi connection, Cell Broadband Engine and a built-in hard-drive,” said Jack Tretton, President and CEO, SCEA.

The 40GB PlayStation will be equipped with two fewer USB ports and no memory card reader, which are available on the 80GB model, as a further cost-reducing measure.

Sony’s press release also confirms that each 40GB PS3 will come bundled with the movie Spider-Man 3 Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. From Sony’s announcement, it appears as though the movie pack-in applies only to the 40GB model. In Japan, however, the Spider-Man 3 promotion applies to new PS3 purchases of the 20, 40 and 60GB hardware.

SCEA was not shy to reveal that new 40GB PS3 will no longer play PlayStation 2 titles, and explained that the new model is “reflecting the availability of a more extensive line-up of PS3 specific titles.” Sony urged consumers looking for backwards compatibility to “take advantage of the limited PlayStation 2 backwards compatibility of the 80GB PS3.”

DailyTech recommends that gamers truly looking for backwards compatibility to look for a 60GB PlayStation 3, which is the by far the best choice for those looking to play PS2 games upscaled to 1080p. Retailers with remaining 60GB PS3 stock may start selling their product at a further discount.

Canadian retailer Future Shop has already reduced the price of the 60GB PS3 to $479.99, and Best Buy Canada is expected to sell the same console at $449.99 starting Friday.

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