After months of speculation, and with this week’s E3 baring down on us like a swag-covered freight train, Sony has announced that it has dropped the price of its 60GB PlayStation 3 model by $100 to $499, while simultaneously announcing a new 80GB model at the former’s $599 ($659 Canadian) price point.
The move is no doubt a preemptive strike made to gain market share in the wake of lagging console soles, though it remains to be seen how much impact this price cut and new model will have on the market should Microsoft follow suit with a similar move for its Xbox 360.
The new 80GB PlayStation 3 model will debut in North America this August, and will feature Evolution Studios’ popular racing game Motorstorm as a pack-in. Sony has also noted that it expects to have 120 new first and third-party PS3 titles on North American retail shelves this year, in addition to the more than 40 titles currently available.
“As we move into the next phase of PS3, it’s important that we continue to evaluate our product line, offering consumers the technology and features that meet their growing needs for new forms of media and the way in which it is delivered,” said SCEA president and CEO Jack Tretton.
“The introduction of the 80GB PS3, the new pricing for the current 60GB model, the availability of more than 100 new software titles this fiscal year and, finally, the expansion of services for PlayStation Network, will provide even more options for users and will help bring new consumers into the PS3 fold.”