Sony announces 40GB PS3 for North America, drops price on 80GB model.

Not two days after I purchase my shiny new 60GB PS3 and Sony drops the price on the 80GB model down to what I just paid as well as announcing the pending arrival of the 40GB model in North America:

With all the speculation and buzz out there regarding the 40GB PS3 announcements in Japan and Europe, I am very excited to confirm that the new $399 PS3 model will be coming to North America on November 2nd, making that particular configuration available worldwide. In North America, the 40GB PS3 comes bundled with the block-buster movie Spider-Man 3 on Blu-ray. Also, effective today, we’ve lowered the purchase price of our 80GB model by $100 to $499.

This move has been part of our longer term business strategy for PS3 since early on and we believe this lower priced model, combined with our broad line-up of content will appeal to a great many of you who want a lower entry price without sacrificing any of the core components of PS3. With today’s news, we’re strengthening our position approaching this holiday season and beyond with the intent to provide you with a choice and an excellent entry point into HD games and movies.

Adding to the appeal of the new retail pricing is the great PS3 lineup that will help further drive our momentum this holiday, including Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, THE EYE OF JUDGMENT, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Heavenly Sword, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Assassin’s Creed, Haze and Rock Band. And that’s just the beginning: This holiday lineup will be followed in 2008 by highly-anticipated Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, Grand Theft Auto IV, Killzone 2, LittleBigPlanet and, of course, PlayStation Home.

Our goal this holiday season is to make PS3 even more affordable and to offer you greater choice to suit your gaming and entertainment needs. Again, I want to thank all of you for your continued support throughout this past year and I look forward to the months and years ahead.

Truth is, I’m not at all upset about this because I wanted the better backwards compatibility the 60GB model has over the 80GB model (and the non-existent compatibility in the 40GB model). I’d probably be upset if a price drop was announced for the remaining 60GB models, but so far that doesn’t appear to have happened. It would have been nice to get a packed in movie or a game, but I do have two coupons good for 5 Blu Ray movies (each) for free so I can’t complain. It looks like Best Buy has already updated their site as the 80GB is listed at the same price as the 60GB model now, but I’ll be keeping watch to see if the price on the 60GB drops anytime soon to see if perhaps I might get a couple of bucks back.

Anyway, if you’ve been waiting for the cheaper non-backwards compatible version then your ship is about to come in.

Rumors of another PS3 price drop and a new model for Christmas.

The folks over at ArsTechnica’s gaming blog have an inside man who seems to be pretty good at getting the low-down on big gaming news before it’s officially announced. Now he’s predicting another PS3 price drop, a new model, and a PS2 price drop for the holidays:

Our mole has a great track record: both the Xbox 360 HDMI story and the wired Xbox 360 Rock Band controllers have since been confirmed. Whoever our friendly inside source is, he’s got some great contacts. Now he’s ready to tell us what Sony’s console pricing plans may soon look like. Here’s how Sony’s platform pricing will shape up by the holiday shopping season:

  • 80GB PlayStation 3: $499.99
  • 40GB PlayStation 3: $399.99
  • Spider-Man 3 Blu-ray movie pack in with one, or both
  • PlayStation 2: $99.99

The PS2 is still selling like hotcakes outselling any of the next gen machines and a price drop to $99 would only fan the flames, but a 40GB PS3 at $400 would be a huge announcement. It would definitely put one within striking distance for yours truly as I’m already over halfway there (my wife suggested I save up my birthday money towards a PS3). I’d happily give up 40GB of drive space for $100 considering how easy it is to upgrade the PS3’s 2.5” hard drive yourself and the fact that for less the $100 you can snap up a 160GB to slap in there. I’m not entirely sure I’d be using my PS3 to download movies and TV shows anyway so having a huge amount of space wouldn’t necessarily be a priority.

Of course this is still just a rumor, but the guy’s been right before so it gives me reason to be optimistic.