After confirming the existence of the much rumoured 40GB hard drive version of the PlayStation 3
on Friday, officials from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) have also announced that the existing 60GB version will not be replenished once stock runs out.
On Friday SCEE confirmed the existence of a new model of PlayStation 3 with a smaller 40GB hard drive, two USB 2.0 ports instead of four and the exclusion of the multi memory card port. Perhaps most importantly the new model does not have any backwards compatibility of any kind – a compromise apparently necessary to reduce the price of the console from £425 ($866) to £299 ($610).
At the same time a new Starter Pack for the existing 60GB model was announced, including two games for a reduced price of £349 ($712). However, it has now been confirmed by Sony that this offer and the 60GB model in general will only be sold as long as stocks last in the UK, and presumably the rest of Europe.
In a statement released
to British trade paper MCV, SCEE indicated that: “Our offering in the UK market place for Christmas are the two ‘SKU’s announced on Friday, but as the 60GB stock is depleted the £299 40GB SKU will be the only version available going forward. The 40GB machine represents all the power and potential of PlayStation 3 at a very compelling price.”
“The only functionality that is being removed is backwards compatibility - and this is because we believe this less important now than when we launched - as there will be 65 PS3 games available by Christmas. Furthermore we believe we should now be devoting our resources to the future of PlayStation gaming and delivering next generation experiences.”
The 20GB model of the PlayStation 3 has never been sold in Europe, which will leave the 40GB model as the only version officially available once stock of the 60GB runs out. SCEE has given no estimate as to when this might be and has neither confirmed nor denied plans to introduce a more expensive console, such as the North American 80GB model, in the future.