Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) has announced that a 40 GB PlayStation 3 will launch throughout the SCEE territories on 10th October 2007, retailing at Ä399/£299 ($565 USD), consistent with predictions
made recently by Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter.
According to SCEE, the new model is being rolled out in response to feedback from existing PS3 owners and research into potential future PS3 owners. It has the same upgradeable firmware and comparable hardware to the 60 GB PS3 with the exception of the smaller HDD, two USB 2.0 ports instead of four, and the exclusion of the multi memory card port.
The most significant exception, according to SCEE, is that the new model is no longer backwards compatible with PlayStation 2 titles, reflecting what SCEE says is a "reduced emphasis" on the feature among later purchasers of PS3, and promises a total of 65 PS3-specific titles to be available in the region by Christmas.
The existing PS3 Starter Pack, comprising a 60GB PS3 with extensive backwards compatibility, an additional SIXAXIS wireless controller and two first-party titles will be reduced in price to Ä499/£349 ($707 USD) and will remain on sale "while stocks last." SCEE adds that this 60 GB PS3 reduction will be replaced by a separate in-store promotion in the UK and Ireland.
As yet, no comparable model for North America has yet been revealed.
"The introduction of the new PS3 has been the result of extensive research into the entertainment needs and preferences of the next generation of PS3 owners," said David Reeves, SCEE president. "It has allowed us to deliver an extremely advanced, yet incredibly affordable High Definition gaming and entertainment system, configured to the needs of the next generation of European PS3 owners. PS3 has always been the device of choice for the discerning gamer and entertainment seeker, and the new PS3 is more than ever the perfect High Definition entertainment system."