Report: PlayStation 3 not bundled with hard drive

Japanese magazine reports that Sony's next-generation console will not come with a default hard drive; SCE president says first model will be 80GB.

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Sony's PlayStation 3 will not come packaged with a hard drive, reports the latest issue of Famitsu. While the machine comes with a 2.5-inch hard drive slot, consumers will be required to purchase and install the actual drive separately.

The news means that Microsoft's Xbox 360 will be the only one of the three next-generation consoles that will come with a hard drive. It comes with a detachable "outrigger" 20GB hard drive by default. Nintendo doesn't plan on the Revolution having a hard drive since the console uses 512MB of flash memory for data saving.

For Sony, offering the hard drive separately will cut costs for the PlayStation 3, which is expected to sell at around 44,800 yen ($410) in Japan according to a recent analysis by Merrill Lynch Japan Securities.

In recent interviews with the Japanese press, Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi said that he expects the initial capacity of the PS3's hard drive to be 80GB. While Sony hasn't released any figures on how much its hard drive is expected to be priced at, a 2.5-inch 80GB in the current Japanese market costs around an average of 20,000 yen ($180). Sony sells its 40GB hard drive (SCPH-20401) for the PlayStation 2 for 10,479 yen ($95).

Given Sony's past strategies, it is possible the company will offer a hard-drive-bundled PlayStation 3 as well as a standard edition. When Sony launched its PSP in Japan last December, the company offered the handheld machine in two packages: a normal edition priced at 19,800 yen ($179), and a "Value Pack" edition priced at 24,800 yen ($224), which came bundled with a number of accessories, including a 32MB Memory Stick Duo for saving game data. However, in America, the PSP Value Pack is the only option available.

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