Following rumors and several hints from Sony, a listing on the website of Sony Computer Entertainment Korea has confirmed the existence of a version of the PlayStation 3 hardware with an 80GB hard drive, instead of the normal 20GB or 60GB.
Korean news sources had initially suggested
that the PlayStation 3 would launch in the country in June, with only the 60GB version being made available – just as in Europe. However, the official website now lists only the new 80GB version, to be released on June 16th for 518,000 South Korean won ($557), before tax.
The technical specifications listed on the Korean website suggest no other changes to the hardware beyond the larger capacity hard drive. Although the size increase is not extreme, the high broadband penetration in South Korea means that downloadable content is likely to be particularly popular in the region, and so a largely hard drive may have been seen as more of a necessary.
The existence of a larger hard drive, and a new SKU for the PlayStation 3 console, was first hinted at by Sony representatives in April
. The company’s Satoshi Fukuoka indicated that, “For users who vigorously store (games and other entertainment content) in the PS3, 20-giga is probably going to be too small, and even 60-giga may not be big enough eventually."
Sony has consistently denied any plans to release a new version of the console in the West, despite the 20GB version recently having been officially phased out in North America
, and no formal announcement has been made for any territory outside Korea thus far.