Sony announces availability of 80GB PlayStation 3

Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) on Monday announced the availability of a new 80GB version of its PlayStation 3 video game console. The system is now available at retailers throughout North America for $599 (CDN$659) and includes a copy of the off-road racing game MotorStorm.

The 80GB model has been released to provide users with more storage space for games and add-on content they purchase through Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN), a free online service PlayStation users can connect to purchase games and game-related content. At present that are more than 60 playable games and game-related downloads available through PSN, with more coming soon.

Sony has been criticized for a slow uptick in PlayStation 3 game rollouts and the system’s high cost. To that end, The 80GB PlayStation 3 joins a 60GB version already in production; that system costs $499.

Both the 60GB and 80GB version share the same architecture and come standard with 1080p HD video output, Wi-Fi connectivity, a Sixaxis wireless game controller and built-in Blu-ray Disc player.

The 60GB version’s retail price was dropped by $100 on July 9 when Sony first announced plans to release the 80GB model in North America, although Sony’s plans to release the model were first made public back in March. Sony says that it plans to continue to sell the 60GB model alongside its 80GB counterpart “until current inventory is depleted,” which it anticipates will happen this fall.

As far as games are concerned, Sony said that throughout the holidays and the remainder of its fiscal year, more than 120 new first and third-party software titles will be released for the PlayStation 3 in North America, adding to the current stable of more than 40 games.

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