Sony seems to be falling into a pattern with how they market the PS3. Since the beginning they’ve offered two models of the console and as time goes on they drop the low-end model and make the high-end the new low-end and introduce a new high-end version. Originally it was the 20GB and 60GB models and there were significant hardware differences between the two. Then came the 40GB and 80GB models with the primary difference being the lack of PS2 backwards compatibility on the 40GB version. Then they changed the 80GB model so it was the same as the 40GB just with a bigger HD, but added value by including a game as a pack-in (Metal Gear Solid 4). Now they’ve dropped the 40GB model altogether and reduced the 80GB model down to $399 without MGS4 so what’s the new high-end model to be?
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune PS3 Bundle with 160GB PS3 System
The 160GB PS3 system announced at the GC will be available here as part of a new limited-edition bundle that includes the hardware, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune game, a PLAYSTATION Network voucher for PAIN, and a DUALSHOCK 3 wireless controller. We’re hearing from a lot of you that more PS3 storage space is important, particularly since the launch of our video delivery service, and this new model delivers more memory and a whole lot of content packed-in. The 160GB PS3 has all of the same functionality as the new 80GB PS3 that’s popping up on retailer shelves now, but obviously has twice the HDD space, so you can build levels to your heart’s content in LittleBigPlanet, download a ton of videos, and still have room for your entire music collection. The Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune 160GB PS3 bundle launches in November for $499.99 (MSRP).
Double the disk space and two games for an extra $100 isn’t too bad of a deal and Uncharted is easily one of the better titles available for the PS3 right now. I’ve played the hell out of the demo as I’ve not been able to squeeze out the money to pick it up myself yet, but it’s gotten pretty good reviews.
The other big PS3 announcement is for a new wireless keypad that attaches to the PS3 controller to make entering text a bit easier:
Lastly, we’ve announced a new Wireless Keypad for PS3 that will make text communications and Web browsing much easier. The Wireless Keypad snaps onto the top of a SIXAXIS or DUALSHOCK 3 wireless controller and comes with some cool features, including a mode that turns the main key area into a touch pad (similar to a touch pad on a Laptop computer). Once in this mode, you can slide your finger on this area to move the cursor on the screen and tap to enter. There will be two short cut buttons on the Keypad that will enable users to jump directly to the XMB’s “Friends” icon and the “Message Box” during gameplay. The Wireless Keypad will launch in late November.
Last but not least, the Wireless Keypad is a Bluetooth device that can not only be used with the PS3 system but with any other Bluetooth enabled device that has Keyboard functionality. You will be able to use it with your smart phones and other portable devices that are equipped with Bluetooth. With the PS3 system, it can be paired and charged seamlessly just by connecting them with a USB cable.
With it sitting on top of the controller it may be awkward to use so I doubt you’d use it during the heat of battle, but it should still beat the hell out of using the on-screen keyboard to enter text into games. Considering it’s designed to snap onto a PS3 I’m not sure how you’d use it with a smart phone other than perhaps just holding it in your hand to type on.