Following the announcement of the much speculated 40GB hard drive version of the PlayStation 3
in Europe, Sony officials in Japan have also announced a similar model, albeit with an optional new white color design for both console and controller.
The 40GB model, which goes on sale in Europe on October 10th for £299 ($606), features a smaller hard drive as well as two, instead of four, USB ports and no multi memory card port. More significantly, it also has no backwards compatibility of any kind with the PSOne or PlayStation 2.
The version sold in Japan appears to be functionally identical, but with an optional new "ceramic white" color that has not been confirmed for Europe.
According to consumer website GameSpot, the new hardware model will be launched in Japan
on November 11th for a price of ¥39,980 ($341). This is the same day that the new force feedback equipped DualShock 3 controller is due to go on sale, and the first anniversary of the console in Japan.
On October 17th the price of the 20GB and 60GB versions, which are both still sold in Japan, will also be reduced. The 20GB model, which retains backwards compatibility, will drop in price by ¥5,000 ($43) to ¥44,980 (£384). The 60GB version will also see its price fall by the same amount to ¥54,980 ($469). The first 200,000 consoles sold after this date will also receive a free copy of the Spider-Man 3 on Blu-ray.
Although widely anticipated, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) has still yet to make any announcement of the 40GB model's availability in North America.