E3 2008: 40GB PS3 phased out, new 80GB BC-less

Sony confirms lower-end console no longer being shipped to US retailers; larger-memory replacement will have the same $399 price, but won't play PS2 titles.

Among the many news items in today's E3 2008 Sony Press Conference was the announcement that it will be introducing a new $399 80GB PlayStation 3. On stage, Sony Computer Entertainment America President Jack Tretton was upbeat about the console, saying it offered "twice the storage for the same price."

While such a proposition was attractive, Tretton also raised some questions by saying the console will have "the same functionalities" as the 40GB. That model has been the subject of criticism for its lack of backward compatibility with PlayStation 2 games and, to a lesser extent, not having media card slots. Tretton also omitted any mention of whether or not Sony would continue to manufacture the 40GB, perhaps at a lower price point.

This afternoon, Sony Computer Entertainment senior vice president of marketing Peter Diller answered several of the lingering questions about the new 80GB PS3. First, the $399 model will soon be the "de facto standard SKU" in North America, with all other models--including the 40GB bare-bones model being phased out. Dille said Sony has already ceased shipping the 40GB to stores, and is letting the remaining stock of the console clear itself out of the retail channel. He said Sony had no price cut akin to Microsoft's $50 discounting of the now-discontinued 20GB Xbox 360.

Secondly, Dille said the new 80GB will have the "exact same functionality as the 40GB model," and will essentially be the same console with a larger hard drive. That means that once the current 80GB PS3s sell out, no new Sony consoles will have backward compatibility with PS2 games. "Most of our user base that's worried about backwards compatibility has a PlayStation 2," he said.

[CORRECTION] As with all PlayStation 3 models, the new 80GB PS3 will play original PlayStation games, contrary to what this article originally reported. GameSpot regrets the error.

Check back later for GameSpot's video Q&A with SCEA VP Peter Dille.

[UPDATE] When contacted by GameSpot UK, a Sony Computer Entertainment Europe representative would not comment on whether these SKU changes would be reflected in the UK and in the rest of Europe now or at any point in the future.

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342 comments
NukedUSN
NukedUSN

"Most of our user base that's worried about backwards compatibility has a PlayStation 2," he said. ...if they're worried about backwards compatibility... wouldn't they NOT have a PS2...?

Devouring_One
Devouring_One

That's odd, almost every site/store I've seen or been to has the PS3 without backwards compatibility. Was this a sudden change of heart or people making wrong assumptions?

Timstuff
Timstuff

Nocturnal Speed, it has nothing to do with cost. It doesn't cost Sony a dime to implement software-based PS2 compatibility with the current 80GB PS3. They are only cutting it out because they don't want people buying the system just for Blu-Ray movies and PS2 games. It sucks for consumers, and even though I'm lucky enough to have a 20GB PS3 already, I do worry about what might happen if something on it breaks, and there are no PS2 compatible ones left to replace it with.

aniMAXXX
aniMAXXX

..... Compared to older days.. where game console main purpose is to have standard configuration/solo purpose so that developers can easily work on it to its hardware's fullest, same for gamers.. now Sonio* and MicoSofto* have an assembly line of consoles....how different from a DELLTO PCs? =.= *(you know who i m refering) I was once given a gamespot red card(Abuse) for giving a honest comment on some vital issue...must be some fanboy../Grr!

Nocturnal_Speed
Nocturnal_Speed

Every person out there that is whining about the new upcoming models not having BC, need to make up there mind about what they want. Cheaper price or BC?? You had your chance at launch and the whole 07 year to purchase a BC Ps3 Model, but now that the prices drop your all hoping on the bandwagon, but complaining about not having BC?? wow let Sony move on already and start focusing all there work on Ps3 video games and let the Ps2 die out already... or like they said... buy a Ps2 on ebay for $50.

jamester0601
jamester0601

that is better for those people the have low income earners

kongming30
kongming30

so I guess Sony wants us to get 2 console basically: our ps2 are all aging and will need replacement soon, and those that didn't get a 60Gb or 80Gb now.... Sony is sucking every penny out of my pocket

lordallanon
lordallanon

August 27 is the release date. Well at least that's what I heard on the GamespotAU podcast.

sleyter
sleyter

does any one know when this will take place

Hungry_bunny
Hungry_bunny

The 40gb didn't have BC either, still I'm pretty dissapointed. I want something that can replace my DRE-infected ps2.

clubvegeta
clubvegeta

sony has ended the ps 2 compatibility from 80gb system thats not fair

leofiregod
leofiregod

what? no backwards compatability? that sucks

Blaze_Hrimfaxi
Blaze_Hrimfaxi

"they will do anything to make money" So will just about every other corporation in the world. What do you expect?

Blaze_Hrimfaxi
Blaze_Hrimfaxi

I really could care less. My PS2 works fine, and my 80G MGS4 bundle is on its way. Im perfectly happy. You guys just freakin complane too much.

Cannabis64
Cannabis64

no, this is sony putting out a quality product for cheaper by cutting a nice feature. the backwards compatibility exists in other versions of the counsel which are still for sell. This is sony trying to cut back on some features to make their system more reasonably priced, because we are in an economic resession, a smart move by sony to offer up next gen awesomeness with 80 gb's of memory for 400 bones. i still have my 60gb fully bc system and am very happy with it, bc or not. i use the bc all the time though. I say good planning by sony to try and match the spending ability of a country, while still producing a quality product.

dcmdream
dcmdream

Sony wants everyone that does not own a PS2 yet to buy one as well as a PS3. (most people own a PS2 but need to replace it by now) PS2 still makes them $ and the PS3 has lost them 3.3 billion. Makes sense. But the problem is Sony opened their big cocky mouths years ago making fun of the spotty BC for the 360 and saying that their system will be fully BC and the only true next gen system. They forgot to mention that they were going to take that out as well as some other features and change the sku's 5 times and require all games to install because of the 2x Blu-ray crappy drive. But hey, online is free. Thank you Sony.

aggelos6
aggelos6

"....would not comment on whether these SKU changes would be reflected in the UK and in the rest of Europe now or at any point in the future." A 80GB ps3 at the same price is very beneficial for Sony .It will surely boost ps3 sales. So why don't they bring it here ? I don't believe it....

rockstar026
rockstar026

At least put in playstation classics in the new PS3 like the MGS essential collection or Final Fanstasy or etc and the price will be higher little bit more I would buy it and i would buy mgs4 seprately...I want a PS3 that can play MGS essential collection I think i wont be able to buy the MGS4 bundle in time sux for me

hotrider12
hotrider12

PS3 I too would love to buy one. but like most of you guys without b/c for all my ps2 games 65 of them ps3 is not worth it.

alhonso
alhonso

Pretty sad though that it would not have backward capability. I got a 60GB one, really pleased.

Macgyver40
Macgyver40

they will do anything to make money

CanesThing26
CanesThing26

sony probably has a plan where you can DL old PS2 games through psn. that will work on the BC less PS3 sku's. i dont see why they wouldn't it would be a pretty smart move. when they do it who knows. but they will do this with both PS1games and ps2 games. considering they have PS1 game for download on psn in japan.

gamer082009
gamer082009

OK, this is not good whether you agree with the extra 40GB or not. I understand they wanna reduce cost and offer more of what they can at a reasonable price, but realistically they need to keep the software based BC on the 80GB versions. If you're telling people to move on to PS3 games only and just purchase a PS2 for backwards compatibility I think that's a lil excessive. They should just leave the 80GB backwards compatibility standard with the 80gb version. Anyways, I already got a 40GB one without the BC so I guess this wont necessarily effect me.

_Sam_
_Sam_

I don't know why they wouldn't do BC

cooldude03
cooldude03

We knew this was coming even though they flat out denied it a week ago, when Xbox 360 cut prices. Sony knows what they are doing. This is the same plan they used last year and it was so successful why not do it again this year.

joeblofromidaho
joeblofromidaho

Sony is on the right path here. If they continue they could have their head out of their A$$ within the next 6-9 years.

kb8618
kb8618

i finally got my MGS4 80gb bundle today, and a 3 year warranty, so hopefully if it brakes 2, 3 years from now it wont be replaced with a BCless 80gb ps3, or some 200gb bc less ps3, well actually i wouldnt mind a 200gb+ PS3 3 years from now, cuz by then i prob wont play any of my PS2 games anymore, not to mention that by then there wont be any new ps2 games comming out

lettuceman44
lettuceman44

Bigger Hard Drive is cool. Sucks they took out BC though.

bleat
bleat

@Yuck_Too: There are two pieces of hardware that were ultimately removed. Old 80 had the GPU still, only the EE was removed. EE emulated in software. New 40 and 80 have the old GPU also removed. Therefore, no emulation in software is possible anymore. I wish you people would stop thinking that software emu is STILL POSSIBLE on the new 40 and 80 units. IT IS NOT. They would have to write new software to emulate the old GPU as well. Is that even possible, who knows.

ThickFreak
ThickFreak

I want to buy a PS3, but I won't for a few reasons. The biggest reason I want one is to play the great games it has, and also be able to play my old PS2 games. My PS2 is starting to fail. But wait, what's that? No BC? You got to be kidding me. My collection of 150+ PS2 games should not be denied the honor being played in a PS3.

CletusTSJY
CletusTSJY

If their customers already have a PS2, whats the point of it being able to play original Playstation games?

KoruKinshi
KoruKinshi

No BC? Are you serious, Sony? I think someone in the company needs to start putting 'smart' pills in their breakfast. This is likely to irritate a *lot* of gamers all around.

jimbo102671
jimbo102671

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

It seems Sony is "Tooling around with PS3" Hardware revisions just for the hell of it. I'm sure that in another 6 months we will have another PS3 will an 100 gig Hard Drive and something else taken out. Sony should have just stuck with The original 60gig Playstation 3 offering. In the first place. Eventually Playstation 3 will make it's money back. Just make great games, Sony and you will be fine.

grambyte
grambyte

It's the games and not these actions that will make me get a PS3... sometime.

rockstar026
rockstar026

this sucks i was planing to buy a PS3 and this news really spoilt my mood for buying one. I was going to go to PS3 from 360 cause 360 has not have any games that i like..this sux

XXL2
XXL2

i don't get it; does this mean it doesn't have the BC chip or that thee firmware updates don't let it run the emulation required to run PS2 games, I got the 60Gb PS3 when it came out and it emulates the PS2 environment and that was released in the firmware updates...?

zoe256
zoe256

Sony, here's the deal. I'll buy a PS3 when you give us one with decent features at a decent price. I'm not paying 300GBP ($600) for a 40GB, BC-less, console that doesn't even come with the DualShock 3, which is what they're offering in the UK. Sony are arrogant idiots.

Darkure
Darkure

Too funny. The PS3 grave keeps getting deeper this E3 it seems. FFXIII on 360. No BC on further PS3 production models. All I need is a 360 version of MGS4 and I will never, ever buy a PS3.

jaycromer12
jaycromer12

People only bought the 4ogb because of the lack of 80gb systems, they've been impossible to find for a while. People settled for the non-BC 4ogb.

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

The only reason they removed backwards compatability is so that they can sell the ps2 still, That is still a cash cow now and especially after they announced another 130 titles by the end of this year for ps2. They realize that the ps2 is still selling a lot because not everyone can afford the ps3. Luckily my ps3 is backwards compatable but what about after it breaks. I dont want to have to buy a used one off of ebay. I want mine brand new and i dont want to have to buy another ps2 since I got rid of mine.

SnowPhoenix9999
SnowPhoenix9999

I was happy to see the price drop announcement yesterday. Now that I see they will be removing PS2 backward compatibility for this model as well, I'm annoyed with Sony's antics again. Well, hopefully they'll make a "budget-priced" model with PS2 compatibility eventually. Seriously. The fact that most consumers have PS2 consoles is NOT a good excuse for excluding backward compatibility (in my opinion). Without backward compatibility, you have to keep old consoles around if you want to play old games, and I find that the cords for those systems get tangled constantly.

LORDCOSMOS
LORDCOSMOS

i got my 60GBPS3 for 300 buxx w00t too bad all i do is play shin megami tensei: nocturne on it sometimes i get a hankerin' for some no one can stop mr. dominoe LORD COSMOS: "it takes me 5 times as long to finish a game than it takes you" that is all.

DEEGREATONE1
DEEGREATONE1

wow gamespot thats a BIG error on your part. anti sony pro xbox web site SAD

panopticon
panopticon

I'm glad to have bought the MGS4 bundle when it came out. I never owned a Sony console... NOT A ONE. Now, I'm spending more time getting caught up on the MGS essential collection than I am playing MGO or Warhawk. What Sony did is a slap in the face to those who missed out on its previous offerings, and Sony will have a lot to lose for it.

tampabil81
tampabil81

This is coming from a casual video gamer, a very small percentage of the population. IMO the 80gb non-bc PS3 is a slap in the face to me and other casual gamers who haven't bought the now current generation systems, who don't play online, buy maybe no more than 5 or 6 new games a year, and want to hang on to their ps1 and ps2 titles that still have tons of playability (Game Shows see profile). I have been patiently waiting for a significant price drop on every backwards compatable ps3 only to find them discontinued and hard to find used without being raped in the wallet. Other than the annual sports titles and the new Buzz there really seems to be nothing special to make me drop $400 on a ps3. And with no more backwards compatability I guess I'll be sticking with the PS2 and SD graphics until they stop producing NCAA Football for PS2. It's looking pretty likely that I will have to eventually own two systems and investing in a component selector for my living room HDTV.

neocbax
neocbax

Ok simple buy a PS2 instead of a PS3 XD

whiteagle18
whiteagle18

Hey everybody! Send Sony emails asking for BC. I did. It probably wont make a difference but its worth a try. Takes only a min. Or somebody make an online petition and advertise it well. I was going to get a ps3 this November but now I’m hesitating.