In news which would have been no surprise in 12 months time but is a bit of a shocker now Sony has put the bullet into its entry level PlayStation 3.
Speaking to Joystiq Dave Karraker of Sony America decided to pretty much write my news story for me by explaining:
"At launch, we offered two separate models of PlayStation 3 to meet the diverse needs and interests of our PlayStation fan base. Initial retail demand in North America was upwards of ninety percent in favor (sic) of the 60GB SKU, so we manufactured and shipped-in accordingly. Due to the overwhelming demand for the 60GB model from both retailers and consumers, we have ceased offering the 20GB model here in North America. In addition to the larger internal hard drive, the 60GB PlayStation 3 features added storage media slots and built-in Wi-Fi not found in the 20GB system. Based on retailer and consumer feedback, we have decided to focus our current efforts on the more popular 60GB model."
Of course this news doesn't overly trouble we Brits since Sony decided not to release the 20GB PS3 on our shores anyway – though at £425 for its big brother it would've been nice to have the option.
Conspiracy theories go that Sony lost even more money on the 20GB PS3 than the 60GB PS3 but wanted to be seen to be giving customers a choice. Consequently it made very few and then blamed poor sales figures for its withdrawal. Believe what you wish...
Normally, this being Sony, I'd suggest we are unlikely to see any compensatory 60GB PS3 price drops, but contrary to its recent rip-off record it looks like they are already here...