Following Sony's official announcement that price of the 60GB version of the PS3 will be dropped to £349, and a 40GB model introduced at £299, Pocket-lint spoke to Nick Sharples, director of corporate communications for Sony in Europe, to find out more.
Nick Sharples informed us that once current stock of the 60GB model sells out, only the new 40GB entry-level version will be available to purchase in the UK.
The reason that this may come as a shock is not just because of the smaller memory capacity or slimmed down feature set, but because the 40GB version will not offer any backwards compatibility with PS2 games.
"We are looking forwards, not back", Nick Sharples told Pocket-lint. "It was clear when Sony first launched the PS3 in the UK that backwards compatibility as a feature was an issue", he continued, "It's now becoming less and less important".
Presumably Sony's logic is that anyone who cared that deeply for such features would have already purchased the console, and this new 40GB model is aimed at new gamers "going forward" with 65 titles claimed to be on the shelves in time Christmas.
We asked Nick Sharples when he thought the stocks of the 60GB PS3 would run out in the UK, and although he was unwilling to give an exact estimate, he thought that current stocks in the UK should hold out for 2 to 3 months.
"Anyone who wants to buy a 60GB PS3 for Christmas is not going to have a problem", he stated.
One industry insider that we spoke to thought this could be uber-clever marketing from Sony to persuade consumers, not only to stump up for the 60GB model in the run up to Christmas, but for another reason too:
"In America they are dropping the 60GB PS3 in favour of the 80GB version. Sony does not want to have multiple models in manufacture. This suggests they are spring cleaning their SKUs and will introduce the same 80GB model in Europe next year."