40GB PS3 not the full package?

Sept 19, 2007

Insider whispers in the past week have suggested that Sony is planning to announce anew $400, 40GB model PS3that will release in time for Christmas (in the US, at least). Now, on the day before the PlayStation maker's Tokyo Game Show conference, GamesRadar has learnt that a cheaper model is indeed on the way, although it will have a reduced feature list compared to the 60 and 80GB models.

Of course, Sony has released a 'stripped down' PS3 before - the 20GB model - which, in addition to a smaller hard drive, came minus WiFi and flash card slots. However, after impotent demand for the lower-spec console the 20GB PS3 was promptly discontinued in the US and is currently only available in Japan (it was never even released in Europe).

With the failure of the 20GB PS3 in mind, it would hardly seem like a wise move by Sony to follow its template too closely. After all, if rumours of a price cut for the 80GB model ring true ($500 down from $600), the difference in price between the 40 and 80GB models would be identical to the gap between the cost of the 20 and 60GB models when they launched. A saving that early adopters snubbed.

Perhaps having a cheaper alternative will make PS3 a more attractive proposition for gamers with delicate wallets, but we're struggling to identify any discernible logic behind Sony releasing a lower spec PS3. Still, when has the word 'logic' ever been synonymous with Sony? Hopefully, the Japanese company will empty its sleeves at its TGS conference tomorrow and we'll find out if there's any truth to the ongoing speculation.