SCEA (Sony Computer Entertainment America) president and CEO Jack Tretton has confirmed that the 40GB hard drive model of the PlayStation 3 will be launched in the U.S. on November 2nd for $399, bundled with the Spider-Man 3
movie on Blu-Ray.
Already released in Europe
and confirmed for Japan
, the 40GB model has only two USB 2.0 ports instead of four, and lacks the multi-memory card port of the more expensive models. It also lacks any backwards compatibility with the PlayStation 2. As a result, the cost of the 40GB model is just $399.
At the same time, the price of the existing 80GB hard drive version of the PlayStation 3 will be reduced in the U.S. from $599 to $499, effective immediately, according to an official statement.
Speaking to the Reuters news agency in an interview, Tretton commented on the lack of backward compatibility with the PlayStation 2 by saying: “Backward compatibility is a nice secondary consideration, but it's far from the number-one priority."
In a separate interview with The Wall Street Journal, Tretton commented: “While we were incredibly excited about the technology in PS3 and while it was future-proofed to some degree, it was a bit ahead of its time. The downside of all that technology was the price we had to offer it to consumer at retail. We knew $599 was going to be a challenge for some people based on traditional videogame pricing."
An official statement released by Sony commented further of the backward compatibility change: "The new 40GB PS3 will no longer play PlayStation 2 titles, reflecting the availability of a more extensive line-up of PS3 specific titles. Consumers looking for backwards compatibility can take advantage of the limited PlayStation 2 backwards compatibility of the 80GB PS3."