Finally putting a stop to the neverending swirl of rumors, Sony has officially announced its 40GB PlayStation 3 console in the United States, according to Reuters. The company intends to deliver the new console on November 2. As moles, insiders, and Target shoppers have been predicting over the past few weeks, the 40GB PS3 will be priced at $399.99, positioning it $50 above the Xbox 360 Premium from Microsoft.
Compared to the 360, the new 40GB PS3 will have two advantages: its Blu-ray drive, which can turn the console into a discount Blu-ray player, and its 40GB hard drive, which has twice the capacity of the Xbox 360 Premium's. However, Sony has crippled the new console somewhat by removing backward compatibility with PlayStation 2 games. "We're choosing to focus on the PlayStation 2 consumer with the PlayStation 2, which remains incredibly relevant, and focus on the PlayStation 3 consumer with the new 40-gigabyte model and the great software coming out," Sony Computer Entertainment America President Jack Tretton told Reuters.
In addition to the new 40GB console's introduction, Sony will lower the price of its 80GB PlayStation 3, Reuters reports. The 80GB model currently costs $599.99, but its price will go down to $499.99.