80GB PS3 confirmed for Europe at $500

In what we can only assume is a public relations blunder, the Sony-backed "HD World" newsletter, designed to promote the Blu-ray format, has revealed a new model of PS3 for Europe.

The most recent edition of HD World mentions the larger hard drive capacity model for the European market in the context of a wider industry piece on a report on the deciding factors in the format war, it states:

"In Western Europe by the end of 2008, 'Understanding & Solutions' predicts average player prices (as opposed to entry level model pricing), for HD DVD and Blu-ray of $275 and $475 respectively, with the yet-to-be-launched European 80GB PS3 retailing at just over $500."

Currently on sale in the UK is the cut-price 40GB PlayStation 3, with no backwards compatibility and the 60GB version.

Pocket-lint had previously suggested that Sony would eventually phase out the 60GB model in the UK in favour of the larger 80GB version, but this has not been confirmed by Sony.

We got in touch with a Sony Europe spokesperson who stated: "The HD World newsletter is written by external sources, and the report quoted is from independent analysts. There is absolutely no 80GB version of the PS3 planned for Europe in 2008".