In what could been seen as a reactionary move by Sony is there ever was one, the company announced at their press conference at this year’s Gamescom in Cologne, Germany that they were planning to replace the two current models of Slim PS3 with ones containing larger hard drives.
The existing 120GB console is to be replaced by a slightly larger 160GB model, and the 250GB one gets upgraded to 320GB. The pricing structure for both machines is to remain the same as the current models. So expect to pay £249.99 for the 160GB version, and £284.99 for the 320GB one.
While these newer models are due to arrive in stores from 15th September, Sony also point out that there might be a cross over with old stock as the old models are phased out, meaning that it is likely that some places may be run additional ‘clearance’ deals for those not too fussed by having a smaller amount of storage capacity.
Currently, PS3 sales are officially standing at 38 million worldwide, whilst the 360, on 41.2 million, leads by a small margin. However, in Europe the situation is reversed with Sony commanding the largest lead in console sales between the PS3 and the 360 in any territory. With this in mind Sony’s Andrew House commented that the launch of these new models of PS3 was to ‘maintain leadership’ in that particular territory.
After the slow start in sales following the launch of the PS3 in March 2007 in Europe for a whopping £425, it appears Sony is well and truly back on track with the PlayStation brand, and that means the battle can only get more interesting from here on out. Perhaps now’s the right time for the company to turn their attention around to the ailing PSP brand, and the inevitable PSP2.