Although suspected, it's now confirmed: The 40GB PS3 model will launch November 2 in the US with a $399 price tag, along with a $100 price cut on the 80GB model, bringing the total cost down to $499. To quote:

The new version of the PS3 will come with a 40-gigabyte hard drive, cost $400, and go on sale on November 2, said Jack Tretton, president of Sony Computer Entertainment America. The price of the 80-gigabyte version will be cut to $500 from $600.

Read: Press Release

The 40-gigabyte model has already made its debut in Europe and Japan, and was widely expected to come to the United States ahead of the crucial year-end shopping season that accounts for the largest single chunk of annual video game software and hardware sales.

For the new 40-gigabyte PS3, Sony has removed its ability to play games for the predecessor PlayStation 2, which is still selling strong despite its aging technology.

"We're choosing to focus on the PlayStation 2 consumer with the PlayStation 2, which remains incredibly relevant, and focus on the PlayStation 3 consumer with the new 40-gigabyte model and the great software coming out," Tretton said.

"Backward compatibility is a nice secondary consideration, but it's far from the number-one priority."

Confirmed: Sony to launch cheaper PlayStation 3


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