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Sony Cuts 80GB PS3 Price & Backwards Compatiblity

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It's clearly E3 time, because following Nintendo's major Wii enhancements Sony is looking to steal the limelight with that most popular of announcements: a price cut.

Currently only scheduled for the US, Sony says it will reduce the price of the 80GB PlayStation 3 to $400 - the going rate for the current 40GB edition. Clearly good news? Well...

This being Sony there's the usual great, big, hairy but involved and for those of you with a keen grasp on the PS3 product lines I'm sure you're there already, yep it's about backwards compatibility. Craftily stating the reduced price 80GBer will have the "current functionality" of the newer 40GB edition means owners keen to retain their PS2 titles, but not their PS2 had better look elsewhere. In addition, it means this is essentially an upgraded 40GB PS3, not a reduced price 80GB one.

It's also just the latest in a Sony's bizarre attempts to incrementally remove this crowd pleasing tech as it quickly swapped out the superb hardware emulator in the original PS3 for a less reliable software alternative soon after launch before killing it entirely with the 40GB version.

Ironically, the price cuts themselves even demonstrate the confusion over strategy has spread to the boardroom as only last week Sony CEO Nobuyuki Oneda categorically denied any impending price reductions. He stated, "this year, our strategy is not to sell more quantity for PS3 but to concentrate on profitability. Our plan is not to reduce the price." Bet he feels a plum...

Still, if you want a PS3 for the same price as a 60GB Xbox 360 plus Live membership you know what to do: move to America. As for Europe, we await a price shafting/no price change declaration in due course...

Update: Yep, it's rip-off Britain time. Sony has announced on 27 August we too will be receiving the 80GB PS3 as it phases out the 40GBer and we'll have to shell out £299 ($600) for the privilege. Cheers Sony, and yes I'm sure it's all cos of our taxes...

Link:
PlayStation.com

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