A 40GB model of the PlayStation3 will be released across Europe on the 10th of October for €399, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has confirmed, ahead of an SCEA announcement.
Providing an incredibly appealing entry point to the world of High Definition gaming and entertainment for the holiday season, the new PS3 brings the next generation of interactive home entertainment to homes all across Europe, Middle East, Africa and Australasia.
Along with an ever expanding line-up of PS3 titles (a total of 65 titles tracking across all genres by Christmas), the new PS3 is equipped with a 40GB HDD and includes all the features central to the High Definition entertainment experience; true next generation gameplay, stunning High Definition Blu-ray Disc™ movies, SIXAXIS™ wireless controller, Wi-Fi and HDMI connectivity, all powered by the Cell Broadband Engine™, the digital heart of PS3.
As with the 60GB PS3, the new PS3 features upgradeable firmware allowing new features and functionality to be added to the system as time progresses. A recent firmware update, for example, enabled PS3 to upscale DVD’s played on the system to full 1080P High Definition.
The introduction of the new PS3 has been determined following user feedback from thousands of existing PS3 owners as well as research into future potential PS3 owners. The new model features two USB 2.0 ports rather than four and no longer includes the multi memory card port.
The new model is no longer backwards compatible with PlayStation®2 titles, reflecting both the reduced emphasis placed on this feature amongst later purchasers of PS3, as well as the availability of a more extensive line-up of PS3 specific titles (a total of 65 titles across all genres by Christmas).
The existing Starter Pack*, comprising a 60GB PS3 with extensive backwards compatibility, an additional SIXAXIS wireless controller and two first party titles will be reduced in price to €499. Remaining on sale while stocks last, the 60GB model represents outstanding value for the keen gamer wishing to upgrade to the High Definition capabilities of PS3.
The technical specifications of the new SKU are given as follows:
PLAYSTATION®3 40GB Specification
Product name PLAYSTATION®3
CPU Cell Broadband Engine™ Processor
Sound Dolby 5.1ch, DTS 5.1ch , LPCM 7.1ch, AAC, others *1 *2
Memory 256MB XDR Main RAM, 256MB GDDR3 VRAM
HDD 2.5” Serial ATA 40GB
I/O USB 2.0 x2
Communication Ethernet x1 (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) IEEE 802.11 b/g Included
Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR) Included
Wireless controller (Bluetooth) Included
Screen size 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
HDMI OUT x1 *3
AV MULTI OUT x1
DIGITAL OUT (OPTICAL) x1
BD/DVD/CD Drive (Read Only) Maximum Read Speed BD 2x (BD-ROM)
DVD 8x (DVD-ROM)
CD 24x (CD-ROM)
Dimensions Approximately 325mm (W) x 98mm (H) x 274mm (D)
Weight Approximately 5 kg
EDIT Of course, a price drop for the PlayStation3 was desperately needed. Last month, Sony announced they would float $3 billion worth of shares, which is undoubtedly where they get the money from to finance this move. But while Sony could have simply lowered prices, they chose to again mess with the hardware and introduce even more models. Let me recap.
Sony initially announced a 20GB and a 60GB model for the US and Japan for about $600 and $500, respectively. Europe was only to get the 60GB model, it emerged later. Then, prior to its launch in November, they reduced the 20GB model´s price in Japan by almost $85 (¥10.000).
In April, Sony dropped the 20GB model from the US market altogether. And in July, they introduced a new 80GB model there for $600, the previous price tag of the 60GB SKU. They also dropped the 60GB model to $500, the price point of the 20GB model so far. This, effectively, was a hardware upgrade rather than a price cut, because now there were still two SKUs in stores costing $600 and $500, respectively.
The US 80GB model did not include hardware-based backwards compatibility (i.e. it no longer included the PS2´s graphics chip and CPU), but used limited, software-based emulation. The same was always true of the PAL 60GB model, which was sold in Europe and continued to be the only model sold there, as the 80GB model was never to be released in that territory.
At some stage, Sony must have reduced the price for the Japanese 60GB model, since it now sells for the 20GB model´s original price. I am unable to find any news articles relating to that price drop. Today, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe announced a new 40GB model for €400 and a price drop for the 60GB model to €500. This new model, it seems, will not even bear software-based backwards-compatibility.
So the status quo is this:
80GB model: $599 (€425 / ¥70.000) - limited, software-based backwards compatibility
60GB model: $499 (€355 / ¥58.500) - full, hardware-based backwards compatibility
60GB model: ¥59.980 ($515 / €365) - full, hardware-based backwards compatibility
20GB model: ¥49.980 ($427 / €305) - full, hardware-based backwards compatibility
60GB model: €499 ($705 / ¥82.500) - limited, software-based backwards compatibility
40GB model: €399 ($565 / ¥66.000) - no backwards compatibility whatsoever
That makes for five different PS3 models which will be on the worldwide market by October 10th. And I believe it is only a question of time until the 40GB model will be introduced to the other territories, possibly increasing that count further. That is as confusing to consumers as possible.
Of course, Apple appears to release new iPod models every few months or so and they certainly get away with that strategy. But their product has completely dominated its market for years. The PlayStation3 is in third place by a huge margin. If you need to catch up, it seems to be a bad idea to bring in new models, phase out old ones and swap price tags as if you were playing musical chairs.
Like I said, a price cut is what the PS3 needed. But if you have to spend more than half an hour of sifting through articles and looking up information by internet retailers in order to compile a list of all PS3 models on the worldwide market - which is what I did - then you are not making things easy for your customers, retail partners and publishers. Cut that price, Sony. But stop tampering with the hardware, for crying out loud.
Thanks to: Console Hype