Further to the news we brought you yesterday about this imminent and significant event, Sony has now officially announced that not only has it reduced the cost of the 60GB PS3 to £349 (not £369 as we had reported) but will launch a 40GB version at the lowest-yet price point of £299.

As we've stated, the new PS3 console will feature the Blu-ray drive as standard, come with a 40GB hard drive, Wi-Fi connectivity and a SIXAXIS controller, but it will lose two of its four USB slots and the memory card reader. It will also lose all backwards compatibility with PS2 games.

Sony says the new PS3 has been introduced following user feedback "from thousands of existing PS3 owners as well as research into future potential PS3 owners".

"The introduction of the new PS3 has been the result of extensive research into the entertainment needs and preferences of the next generation of PS3 owners", said David Reeves, President of SCEE.

"It has allowed us to deliver an extremely advanced, yet incredibly affordable High Definition gaming and entertainment system, configured to the needs of the next generation of European PS3 owners."

The new 60GB "value pack" will have a SIXAXIS wireless
controller and two first party titles. This, and the 40GB version will be available in shops, and online, from the 10th October.