Rumors of a 40GB PlayStation 3 have been circulating for months. However, the past week has seen a flurry of credible sources in the United States as well as the United Kingdom, Australia, and Italy say that its release is imminent. Nevertheless, American and European Sony reps have steadfastly declined to address the reports, citing corporate policy of ignoring all information not released through official channels.
Now it looks as if Sony reps will need to learn how to say "We do not comment on rumors and speculation" in another language. According to a report in the French newspaper Les Echos, Sony Europe will officially unveil the 40GB PS3 tomorrow for a price point of 399 euros (approx. $564), which is 200 euros (around $283) less than the 599 euro (about $846) 60GB model. The new console will apparently go on sale in Europe around October 13, a date in line with an earlier France-based report of a "big bang" announcement on October 12.
The scenario outlined by Les Echos was much like a report today on the British Web site Pocket Lint, which says that the 40GB PS3 is coming to the UK. However, the former report is receiving much more credence because it comes via the well-respected Parisian financial daily founded in 1928. (Think the Financial Times en francais.) The paper also has pan-European ties because it is owned by the British media group Pearson PLC.
Les Echos also quotes a rep for an unnamed publisher confirming--and praising--the cheaper PS3. "It is very good news for us," said the publisher rep. "Removing 200 euros from the price of Apple's iPhone and Sony's PlayStation 3 shows that the consumers have true doubts about the high prices set by electronics giants." France is home to such publishers as Ubisoft and Atari parent Infogrames.