Sony announces $399 80 GB PlayStation 3

When early reports said Microsoft was dropping its Xbox 360 price, fans of Sony immediately began to speculate on a sympathetic price drop for PS3. While not a price cut per se, Sony today announced something similar.

At the E3 conference in Los Angeles this afternoon, Sony Computer Entertainment America President and CEO Jack Tretton hosted the company's press conference where he announced that in September, an 80 GB Playstation3 Core unit will be made available for $399.

What has happened here is that Sony has essentially doubled the storage space of the 40 GB unit and kept it the same price.

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As such, this unit is expected to lack backward compatibility with the PlayStation 2, even though Sony spent a considerable amount of time in its keynote discussing the almost nine-year-old console and the still prolific amount of software released for it yearly.

But for Sony, it's time that PS2 players upgrade. Such was the case with users upgrading from the original PlayStation to the PS2; after an initial lag in customers upgrading to the newest hardware, the system finally took off. In what Tretton said was Sony's ten-year plan for the PS3, "Year Two" was anticipated as the time when PS2 users begin the widespread switch to the newest hardware.

With improvements to the PlayStation Network, the future release of Home, God of War III, and the new massively multi-player squad-based combat simulator MAG from Zipper Interactive, Sony is hoping to give irresolute PS2 users something to be excited about.

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