This morning at the Leipzig Games Convention, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe announced it would release a new 160GB PlayStation 3 in Europe for €449 ($660). Within minutes, Sony Computer Entertainment America announced the model--which boasts twice the hard drive space as the current 80GB SKU--would also be making its way to North America, albeit in a different form.
While the European model will come with €70 ($102) in downloadable content localized to the user's territory, the US and Canadian model will be introduced November via a limited edition bundle. Costing $499 in both territories, the package will include the 160GB PS3, a DualShock 3 controller, Naughty Dog's acclaimed adventure game Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, and a voucher for the downloadable game Pain.
In a statement, SCEA president and CEO Jack Tretton explained the rationale behind the new PS3 model. "As [the] PlayStation Network continues to evolve with our recently launched video delivery service and more exclusive games, PS3 owners are demanding more storage capacity," he said. "Consumers also are utilizing PS3 as an entertainment hub for their digital media, placing content such as their entire music collection on the hard drive. The 160GB PS3 system addresses this growing consumer demand."
Sony also had news today for those unswayed by the 160GB PS3 package's offerings--or those simply unable to afford it or wait until November. The company said that this week, the new $399 80GB PS3 had begun shipping to stores. Announced at the E3 Media & Business Summit last month, the console is $100 cheaper than the previous 80GB PS3 SKU, but no longer offers software-based backward compatibility for PlayStation 2 games. SCEA reps confirmed for GameSpot that the 160GB model would also be bereft of PS2 game support.