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PlayStation 3 80GB Launches Friday?

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Way back in June we were getting annoyed that Sony was launching the 80GB PlayStation 3 SKU, already available in the US for some $400, for £299 on the 27th of this month. While one of those numbers now appears to have been wrong, it isn't the one we would have preferred. Nonetheless, if you are in the market for 80GB of PlayStation-flavoured fun then you can get your hands on it a little earlier than expected.

Ever-reliable source of industry info, GamesIndustry, has it from various online retailers that the official launch date was moved forwards to this week. The Leipzig Games Convention starting tomorrow and we expect Sony was planning to make just that announcement there. However, GAME, Play and Amazon, among others, seem to have jumped the gun slightly and all list the console as available on the 22nd.

While the extra 40GB of (in effect) free storage for the same £299 retail price will doubtless please those currently considering a purchase, that's not the only benefit to Sony's, albeit slight, upgrade. The refresh also means that the new 60GB Xbox 360 can't boast having more storage space than the PlayStation 3, as well as a £100 lower MSRP. Or, comparing to the Elite, 40GB less storage and a Blu-ray drive - an interesting dilemma.

So, is £299 an acceptable price for 80GB of hard drive space, probably still the best Blu-ray player you can buy, a DLNA receiver, web browser, cancer curer and, oh yes, the ability to play a few games too worthwhile? Remember, there's still no PS2 backwards-compatibility. Vote with your wallets, folks.

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