Seems like they've been "downgrading" their PS3 ever since, they've removed 2 USB ports and backwards compatibility. By the time this new PS3 is released the next generation of consoles will probably only be 1 year away making this cheaper since no one wants to spend their money on a console that will be discontinued soon.
When the PS4 is released this will become even cheaper. Hopefully around $100 (or less) like the PS2 today, I think they're just planning to make a slimmer PS3 to interest people in buying a PS3 even though the PS4 is on its way to make a bit more money of the system like they have with the PS2.
Not much I guess, at least with the 4GB Xbox 360 you can use an external HDD to store game saves and XBL Games and demos. With a 16GB HDD and the possibility of no discs that would limit the amount of games you could have and games like Uncharted which is 20GB would have to be in 2 parts. The 4GB 360 still seems like the best console for price.
My old old old ass PC's hard drive is even bigger than that (but not by much). It rings in a whopping 40gb hard drive (well 37.7gb), and the all powerful 256mb of ram. I don't want to wait an hour to turn it on to view the rest of the specs, but I will have you know, it was top of the line when it was first released. How Far We've Come.