New PS3 model coming?

As everyone knows, the PS3 is currently being dominated by the 360/Wii in terms of sales(see earlier post about 9/22 sales numbers). Despite outselling the 360 in July, it has since lost a lot of ground, dropping from about 55000 units sold per week to 27000 units per week. The 360 on the other hand, has been gaining momentum since its price drop in August. The 360 has risen from 35000 units per week in July to over 100,000 units per week as of 9/22(AKA the week BEFORE Halo 3) – beating the Nintendo Wii for the first time(ever, I believe). Bioshock and Madden have also helped contribute to the rise in sales, as have the anticipation of H3. Units for the Halo 3 week are expected to be close to even 200,000.

This has put Sony in a tight spot. With no major established franchises hitting the PS3 this holiday season(meaning something to equal Halo, SSB, SMG, etc), Sony is left without anything big to move systems for the holiday season. Nintendo is going to ride SMG and SSB, while the 360 has Mass Effect and Halo 3 to ride on. Sony’s expected big hits are almost all new intellectual properties, including Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, Haze, Folklore, etc. The only established title it has coming out is Ratchet and Clank(which is no where near as popular as H3, or the 2 Nintendo games).

Sony is getting desperate. Rumors have been floating around since E3 that Sony would unveil a new SKU at $400 to compete with the 360. These rumors seem to be coming to light this week. Obviously, if Sony were to announce a new SKU, this would be the time to do it. Here are a few different things that have hinted towards a new SKU:
-The FCC showed on its website that it was testing a new PS3 model, model CECHGO1. Soon after, Sony asked the FCC to alter the information and make it private, and it complied
Source
-BluRay Savings updated their website to show 3 PS3 models eligible to receive the free 5 Blu Ray DVDs, including the aforemention CECHGO1. It too was later changed to just say PLAYSTATION 3, instead of the specific models
Source
-G4 TV announced it had a major video game announcement that would be revealed first by its network. The announcement was set for Sept. 27, the same day the FCC information was released. G4 then postponed the announcement to a later date.
-Sony told GamePro that it would have a big announcement to make on October 12. It was tight lipped about any further details
-Today, Best Buy documents have apparently been leaked, showing a 40GB PS3 with Spiderman 3 Blu Ray DVD, and having a stock date of Oct. 28, and no release date.
Source
-Ratchet and Clank was delay until Oct 30, just days after the rumored Best Buy stock date

All in all, I was skeptical at first. When I heard of the ‘big’ announcement, I thought it was just going to be an official announcement of the 80GB bundle dropping to $500 when the 60GB was sold out, and a price drop on the PS2 to $99(the PS2 has still been outselling the 360 and PS3 on a regular basis up until maybe 3 weeks ago). However, it looks like there may just be another PS3 model on the way. Its a desperate move by Sony, but it needs to get the PS3 established and also needs to establish several of the new IPs coming out in October and November.

IMO, Sony has a sick line up in October/November, but its not something that people will buy the system for. However, if they have the system, then theres a strong chance they will pick them up, and maybe they will generate some hype for the system.

UPDATE: And the plot thickens – Play.com has begun taking preorders for the 40GB PS3.  The specifications, according to Play.com, indicate the 40GB PS3 will only have 2 USB slots and no backwards compatibility.  The later is especially interesting, considering that it doesn’t cost Sony any extra money to include backwards compatibility, as its all done by software emulation.  We will see what ends up happening with this soon.

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~ by exgn on October 2, 2007.

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