updated 12:40 pm EDT, Fri October 5, 2007
Sony Confirms 40GB PS3
Sony Europe today revealed the long-expected 40GB PlayStation 3, promising a much lower-cost version of the Blu-Ray game console than before. The new starter edition doubles the 20GB storage of the basic launch model from Japan and the US and also keeps the Wi-Fi access found in the costlier 60GB and 80GB editions. To achieve its new price, the 40GB version drops hardware PlayStation 2 compatibility like the 80GB model and also sheds both the card reader and two of the four USB ports, which are less needed given the console's reliance on wireless controllers.
HDMI 1.3 output and the other specifications of the game system are the same as for all models, Sony says. Price will be the key selling point as the minimum cost of buying a PlayStation 3 now drops from £425 to £299 ($610) in the UK. Continental European pricing is set at €399 ($564). The 60GB version with an extra controller is being phased out entirely and will drop to £350 ($714) in the UK and €499 ($705) in Europe while stock remains on shelves. 40GB models should be available by October 10th.
Sony's North American division has yet to announce a similar price cut but is expected to quickly follow suit and include Spiderman 3 on Blu-Ray as an incentive for American and Canadian buyers, who have typically passed over the PS3 in greater numbers while choosing the Wii or Xbox 360 instead. Sony's new pricing is currently close to that of the Xbox 360 Elite, which triples hard drive storage to 120GB but lacks an HD-capable optical drive and Wi-Fi.