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Sony drops 60GB PS3 in Australia

60GB PS3 model to be discontinued in Australia; no price cut or new bundle to be announced. Sony Australia predicts doubling of PS3 sales before end of 2007.


Sony in the UK announced overnight that the 60GB model of the PlayStation 3 would soon be discontinued, and it looks as if the same situation will occur down under. Sony Computer Entertainment Australia (SCE Aust) has confirmed to GameSpot AU that the 60GB PS3 is being completely phased out of Australia, with the newly introduced 40GB model the only version being brought into the country from here on in.

SCE Aust managing director Michael Ephraim says that once current retail stock is depleted, no more 60GB PS3 consoles will be made available in Australia, and the 40GB PS3--which has the same specifications as the 60GB model aside from a smaller hard drive, no backwards compatibility with PS2 games, no multimemory card port, and only two USB ports--will be the only retail unit for gamers moving forward.

And whereas consumers in the UK received a price drop and a new bundle offer to help shift the country's existing stock of 60GB consoles, no such offer will be made in Australia. Ephraim said that the current bundle package of two first-party titles (Resistance: Fall of Man and MotorStorm) plus two controllers will be extended until all 60GB consoles are sold.

"The 60GB model--with what stock we have left in trade--will be phased out, and the 40GB model is what we'll be supplying stores with going into Christmas and the new year," Ephraim said. "There will be one SKU--40GB. And any de-speccing of the unit we've done on PS3--except for backwards compatibility--can be upgraded by the consumer very easily."

Ephraim said only limited stocks of the 60GB PS3 were still currently left in the retail channel.

"There are very limited stocks. I would say 20-30 percent of retail stores have them in stock right now. That was always part of our plan to transition smoothly to a new SKU," he said.

The 40GB PS3 will be on sale in Australia from October 11. Ephraim says the new model's A$699.95 price point and the PS3's upcoming library of games will significantly increase sales of the PS3 down under between now and Christmas, tipping a doubling of the PS3's current install base of approximately 83,000 units. "We think now that with the price reduction, we're going to come very close [to] if not exceed doubling that number by the end of this year," he said.

Read the full GameSpot AU interview with Michael Ephraim by clicking here.

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