A spokesman from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) has confirmed to Gamasutra that the 60GB hard drive version of the PlayStation 3 will be phased out in the U.S., with no plans to replenish stock once current supplies run out.
The surprising news first came to light in an online interview
with SCEE president David Reeves, in which he suggested that the 60GB version would cease to be available by as early as this month. This despite a $100 price cut
for the console only having been announced on Monday and Sony proclaiming greatly increased sales as a result at its media briefing on Wednesday.
Gamasutra has confirmed the story with a SCEE spokesman, who indicated that The US are currently transitioning from the 60GB to the 80GB mode of the PlayStation 3. When stock of the 60GB model runs out it will no longer be available in the U.S.
The impact of this move in Japan is currently unclear, but the same spokesman was also able to confirm that there are currently no plans to release the 80GB console in Europe where a new bundle for the 60GB model has just been announced, instead of a price cut.
With the 20GB version of the console already having been phased out in the U.S.
, this will leave the 80GB version of the console as the only model available. This version of the console will, like the European 60GB consoles, not include the PlayStation 2 Emotion Engine but instead rely upon software emulation of PlayStation 2 titles.
Since the 80GB model is sold for $599, with a free copy of MotorStorm
, the move essentially cancels out the $100 price cut which itself was greeted with only muted praise by many in the industry, with Konami
and Capcom executives
both suggesting that further cuts would be necessary.
Speaking in a new video interview
with Norwegian site VG Multimedia, Sony Computer Entertainment president Kaz Hirai has confirmed that the company is "no longer in production for [the 60GB model]."
"Once that product is gone from the retailer's shelves, then we're back to the $599 SKU only," said Hirai. "It's not like we have a two price strategy here in the US market. We found out very early on that consumers react mostly to having one SKU as opposed to two."
Asked for an official response, an SCEA spokesperson told Gamasutra simply, "As announced this week, SCEA's product offering in North America consists of a 80GB PS3 available in August at $599 and a 60GB PS3 available now for $499. We have will have ample supplies of both models to meet the needs of our consumers for the foreseeable future."]