Analyst: $499 80GB PS3 by year's end

Wedbush Morgan Securities predicts Sony will lop $100 off its new console to spur holiday sales, says further cuts possible alongside GTAIV and MGS4.

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Sony had a bumpy ride at the E3 Media & Business Summit. The event kicked off with the company announcing that the 60GB PlayStation 3 was being reduced to $499 alongside the introduction of a new 80GB model with a $599 price tag. The move was widely hailed by analysts as a long-overdue attempt to boost the console's sales. But on E3's last day, Sony confirmed that the 60GB model was no longer in production, leaving the 80GB as the sole SKU when suppliers of its elder sibling run out.

Today, though, two of the industry's more prominent analysts predicted that the days of the $599 PS3 are numbered. In a note sent out this morning, Wedbush Morgan Securities' Michael Pachter and Edward Woo predicted the 80GB console will also see $100 knocked off its price point before the all-important holiday seasons begins.

"The PS3 will remain at $499, with the 80GB model replacing the 60GB model at that same price point," Pachter told GameSpot.

Pachter and Woo also repeated their prediction that Sony might further discount the PS3 early next year to coincide with two highly anticipated games for the platform: the exclusive Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and Grand Theft Auto IV, which is also coming to the Xbox 360.

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