E3 08: Sony backing 80GB PS3 in US

Sony made an important announcement regarding its PS3 hardware strategy at last night’s E3 conference, confirming that from September its focus would be laid solely on its 80GB model.

The hardware will drop from $499 (as it was in the MGS4 bundle) to $399 and will replace the existing 40GB machine (currently priced at $399).

It will also, according to Sony boss Jack Tretton, offer the current functionality of the 40GB PS3” – a statement that most people take to mean it will lack the PS2 backwards compatibility and card reader of the 60GB model.

What this all means for Europe remains to be seen. After launching with a 60GB model including backwards compatibility, four USB ports and an integrated card reader in 2007, this model was soon replaced with the lower spec 40GB machine.

We’ve contacted Sony to see if Europeans can expect the 80GB machine to arrive on these shores any time soon.

We’re also waiting to hear word from Microsoft regarding any plans for bringing the recently announced 60GB Xbox 360 model to this side of the pond.

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