At Sony's Gamescom press conference today, Sony CEO Andrew House has announced an immediate, global price drop for the PlayStation 3, making the system more affordable in Europe, Japan and the United States.
The system is now available for $249 in the U.S., placing it at the same price as the upcoming PlayStation Vita that was announced at E3. The PS3 will also now sell for 249 euros ($359) and 24980 yen ($325).
The new price point applies to the 160GB model of the system, which recently retailed for $299. The 320 GB model, previously $349, will now retail for $299 in the U.S.
This is the first price drop for the cheapest available PS3 since the 120 GB PS3 slim was unveiled at a $299 price point two years ago
, though that $299 model was upgraded to a 160 GB hard drive last year
"While others in the space are losing steam, PlayStation 3 is gaining momentum and giving gamers everywhere more of what they want: an unparalleled line-up of exclusive games and access to the best in sports, movies and TV, all at a great value," SCEA president and CEO Jack Tretton said in a blog post
. "Today, I believe that value becomes even more evident."