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Sony to sell 80GB PS3 at 40GB price

Backward compatibility to go for good?

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Sony is to leave its 40GB PlayStation 3 by the wayside, in favour of a cheaper 80GB model. That’s despite only recently stating that it has no plans to fiddle with the console’s prices.

The firm yesterday announced at the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles that from September it will sell an 80GB model in the US for $399 (£199/€250) - a price cut of around $150 (£75/€94).

Gamers will be pleased with the announcement, because not only will it save wallet strain, but it also means that they get twice the storage capacity for the same price as the current 40GB model. Various adaptations of the 80GB model are already on sale in the US, such as the Metal Gear Solid 4 bundle pack.

However, Sony stated at E3 that the new 80GB model will boast "all of the features and functionality" as the current 40GB model but for those extra 40 gigabytes. This perhaps implies that $399 will buy gamers a refreshed 80GB console that doesn’t support backwards compatibility through software emulation, as the current 80GB model does but the 40GB PS3 does not.

Sony’s 80GB PS3 announcement stands in stark contrast to the recent words of Nobuyuki Oneda, Sony’s CFO. Just last week he said that “our plan is not to reduce the price” of the PS3, because Sony is instead opting for a long-term strategy concentrating on profitability, rather than selling more PS3s.

That plan didn't last long, then...

No plans to follow the US price cut with a similar reduction in Europe has been announced by Sony.

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