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FCC website gives tantalising glimpse... sort of

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Whether it's the rumoured 40GB cut-down model or not, there does appear to be a further Sony PlayStation 3 console in the works. The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website currently lists a PS3 with the model number CECHG01 and its certification as a 'good neighbour' wireless device.

Sony's US 60GB and 80GB PS3s have the model numbers CECHA01 and CECHE01/CECHF01, respectively. The now defunct 20GB version had the model number CECHB01. The European 60GB PS3 is CECHC01, we understand, with CECHD01 the code for European 20BG model that, ultimately, was never released.

So CECHG01 is next in the sequence. Of course, it could be a planned European 80GB console, but if that's the case, why is the US FCC evaluating it?

Sony smartly requested that the FCC withhold pictures and other details of the tested device, so we're left with nothing to go on beyond the rumoured 40GB hard drive.

Over here, Sony claimed the rumours were nothing but rumours - neither a confirmation nor a denial, and the company's usual comment when details of a real product have leaked out.

There's no doubt a 40GB model would be a little cheaper than the current 60GB PS3, but knocking 20GB off the hard drive capacity wouldn't inherently allow Sony to get the console's price down to £300 and certainly not £200.

Some folk have speculated that Sony might be about to drop the Blu-ray Disc drive from the low-end product, which could have a big impact on pricing. But that seems unlikely given Sony's keenness to use the console to drive take-up of the next-gen video disc format.

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