updated 08:30 am EST, Thu January 10, 2008
Sony 20/60GB PS3 Halted
Sony today confirmed that it would be winding down sales of its original launch PlayStation 3 consoles in Japan. The drop affects both 20GB and 60GB models and comes several months after the systems were discontinued in Europe and North America. Discontinuing both models leaves only the 40GB PS3 on sale in the country but is considered part of a change in strategy relating to backwards compatibility with PS2 games. While supporting the older titles in hardware with the 20GB/60GB versions was important, switching to the newer model (which lacks any PS2 compatibility) will shift the focus more to PS3 software, according to Sony.
The 40GB version of the Blu-ray game system is not expected to remain alone and will be accompanied by additional models in the future depending on demand, the company says. Most markets outside of Japan already offer an 80GB version which also includes software emulation of PS2 games and more USB ports than the 40GB version. The 40GB Japanese edition is currently the lowest-priced model on the market and sells for the equivalent of $341, significantly less than the $399 price set in the US and Canada for the console.