Officials from Sony have announced that the company is to stop shipments of the 20GB and 60GB hard drive models of the PlayStation 3 in Japan, in order to focus on the newly introduced 40GB model which has seen a boost in the format’s fortunes since launch.
The 20GB model was never launched in Europe and was withdrawn from sale shortly after launch in North America. The 60GB model has already been phased out in North American and Europe, in favor of the cheaper 40GB model, although until now Japan has continued to market the model.
With the 80GB model thus far only available in North America and South Korea the 40GB model will become the only one available in Japan. The console is priced at ¥39,980 ($364.50), which is less even than the 20GB model at ¥44,980. However, the 40GB does feature less functionality, with no backwards compatibility for the PS2 and half the number of USB ports.
Sony Europe officials have already indicated they have no plans to offer the 80GB model, but according to a Reuters report
Sony Japan does not intend for the 40GB model to remain the only retail configuration in the long term.