Are you in the UK and
want a PS3 but don't want to spend your life savings on the top end 60GB model? Well Sony is confirming the rumours that have been going around
for a few days now by introducing the 40GB PS3 model that will be launched across all of Europe.
Sadly though, backwards compatibility with PS2 games is gone. In a press release, SCEE stated that "the reduced emphasis placed on this feature amongst later purchasers of PS3, as well as the availability of a more extensive line-up of PS3 specific titles (a total of 65 titles across all genres by Christmas)
" was the reasoning for dropping BC.
Two USB and the multi-memory card ports have also been removed from the 40GB version, though SCEE did not give a reasoning behind that. Maybe some research showed that they were features that games did not really use? Regardless, by dropping components from the hardware, production costs could be dropped substantially which will result in lower prices coming more often than they have (not in the UK).
Still, with all things considered, it's rather strange that BC has been dropped since it's done through software emulation in the UK anyway. Eventually, a more sensible reason may come out instead of the short blurb above...or maybe not.
All in all it's rather sad news for PS3 fans in the UK, but there is some good news to go along with it. The 40GB model will be available on 10 October for €399 in your local game shops and retailers. You are still going to have to wait until next year to get your hands on a Dual Shock 3 controller, though - the new 40GB model will ship with the now-standard Six Axis.
If backwards compatibility is a must have for your PS3, you had better hurry up and pick up one of the 60GB starter packs. According to SCEE, once they are sold out of store inventory, there will be no more. The price has been dropped to €499 to clear out the inventory as quickly as possible, and once they're gone there will be a separate 60GB bundle to replace the starter packs in the UK and Ireland.
Is the PS3 finally cheap enough to get you to pick one up? Maybe you're going to hold off until the old 60GB model drops in price so you'll still have backwards compatibility? Maybe you just plain won't buy one? Sound off over in the forums
with your thoughts on the ordeal.