Rumor: New PS3 In "Early August"
We're not expecting any major bombshells at E3 this year, but suddenly, we're faced with the possibility that one particularly large bombshell could drop during Sony's press conference next week.
As most of you know, the PlayStation 3 has undergone several transformations since its launch back in late 2006. The first two models were the 20GB and 60GB; the former disappeared quickly and the 60GB model quickly became the norm. It was the only of the available models that came with the graphics synthesizer chip for full backwards compatibility for PS1 and PS2 software. Later, the 80GB version launched with b/c for PS1 games and software emulation for most PS2 titles, and now, we have the 40GB model, which supports PS1 software but no PS2 software. Each model has other little changes, too, but the biggest differences are the size of the hard drive and the backwards compatibility issue for each.
Now, we've been hearing whispers and rumors about another PS3 model on the way, fueled by reports from Sony who admit they will continue to weigh the marketplace and the demands of gamers as they make future adjustments. Yesterday, according to Joystiq, a Wal-Mart employee has gone and leaked a list of products the company is having difficulty keeping in stock. One of them is the 40GB PS3, which "will be replaced with a new model in early August." ...woah, really? This is huge news, but it could just be that they're talking about replacing the Sixaxis with the recently released Dual Shock 3 as part of the 40GB package, so don't get your hopes up just yet.
Then again, the timing appears to be about right. Sony makes the announcement at E3 - perhaps kicking off the new model with a bundle of some sort - than phasing out the 40GB model with whatever this new one will be. It's fun to consider the possibilities, yes? We'll let you know as soon as we hear anything new, but chances are, Sony won't say anything until next week.
7/8/2008 Ben Dutka