After days of rumors, Sony confirmed Monday that it plans to cease production of its lower-priced 60GB PlayStation 3.
The company had received accolades from gamers and Blu-ray enthusiasts alike when it announced a $100 price cut for the Blu-ray enabled 60GB PS3 early last week, but that enthusiasm has been somewhat tempered as it was slowly revealed that the company plans to phase out the $499 60GB model after the new $599 80GB PS3 hits store shelves in August.
A Sony representative told Reuters that the company would sell the 60GB version until "supplies of that unit are depleted," estimated to be months after the August debut of the new, pricier model. "We have ample inventory to meet the immediate needs of consumers [in the US] for several months to come," said Dave Karraker.
Although the company is feeling some heat for not announcing its intent to cease production of the 60GB console at the same time it announced the price cut, industry analysts believe that the price of the 80GB PS3 will be lowered to $499 once supplies of the 60GB have been depleted.
Sony, for its part, remains tight lipped about any future pricing plans. "We won't be making any further announcements regarding our PS3 model hardware strategy in North America until the 60GB model is exhausted and market conditions are evaluated," said Karraker.