Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA), today announced a new 80GB model of its Playstation 3 system, as well as a $100 discount for its current 60GB PS3 model.
Beginning in August, the new PS3 model will be available in North America for a suggested retail price of $599/$659 CND and will be sold with the online-enabled racing game MotorStorm. In conjunction with this news, the company also announced that effective immediately, the current 60GB PS3 model will be available in North America for $499/$549 CND.
Sony's move comes two days before the start of the video game industry's annual E3 trade show in Santa Monica, California, where some expect Microsoft to respond with its first price cuts on the Xbox 360.
Lower prices will allow Sony to target users of Microsoft's $479 Xbox 360 Elite model to increase sales and help narrow losses at the PlayStation unit. Nintendo's Wii, the top-selling console at $249, probably won't be affected.
Sony has cut prices because the company has reportedly fixed production problems with a diode used in the PlayStation 3's Blu-ray disk player.
The new 80GB PS3 provides storage space to download more games and other entertainment content from PLAYSTATION Network. There are currently more than 60 playable games and game-related downloads available through PLAYSTATION Store, with expanded entertainment content coming soon. The new model features MotorStorm game in the box, allowing up to 12 players to play online at one time.
Throughout the holidays and this fiscal year, more than 120 new first and third-party software titles will be available for North American PS3 users, according to Sony. Key upcoming first-party titles include Folklore, Heavenly Sword, LAIR, NBA '08, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, SingStar, SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation, THE EYE OF JUDGMENT, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Warhawk.
Both the 80GB and 60GB PS3 models come standard with Cell Broadband Engine (Cell/B.E.), Blu-ray Disc (BD) player, built-in HDD, 1080p high-definition output, Wi-Fi connectivity and SIXAXIS wireless controller.