As widely expected, Sony has announced it will unleash a new $399 40GB PlayStation 3 for the US, setting a new low-price record for a Blu-ray playback device.
The move follows similar announcements by Sony in Japan and Europe over the last few weeks.
Although the PS3 is by far the best-selling high-def playback device on the market with 2.1 million units sold since its launch last November (according to VGChartz.com), those sales numbers pale in comparison to lower priced consoles from Microsoft and Nintendo.
The manufacturer is clearly hoping the lower price point will entice holiday shoppers to add the console to their Christmas lists. At $399, the new model PS3 is now $120 more than Microsoft's entry-level Xbox 360, and $150 more than Nintendo's Wii.
Needless to say, a surge in PS3 sales could only help the Sony-backed Blu-ray format in its battle for high-def supremacy against rival format HD DVD. Even at current sales levels, the console has been widely attributed with propelling the Blu-ray format's disc sales turnaround over the last ten months.
The 40GB PS3 is expected to hit stores late this month, bundled with a Blu-ray copy of Sony's blockbuster 'Spider-Man 3' in the box.
(Thanks to Frank for his help with this story!)
- Discs mentioned in this article: (Click for specs and reviews)
- Spider-Man 3 (Blu-ray)