Sony's new PS3 model hit retail today. And with good timing! The system has suffered these past few weeks from sales that slowly went from "laughable" to "hilarious."
The big changes for the new PS3 are the following:
- The hard disk has been upped to 80 gigabytes
- The RSX chip is now made using a 65nm process. This is important because, as you probably know, the number of "nm" in a chip's fabrication process is really the only spec that counts.
- The box is now whiter
- Dual Shock 3 is now included standard
- Gran Turismo 5 Prologue Spec III is, for a limited time, included at no additional cost.
Despite the upgrades and free game, Sony is charging 39,800 yen for the system, which is the same price of the 40 Gig model that features giant, icky 90nm RSX chips and no game.
The sign above is from some random Bic shop somewhere. This sign -- and actually most of the signs I've seen at retail -- promote one particular area of the new model: the 65nm fab process!
Ha ha ha... just joking. Actually, the signs list the new model as at long last being the "high capacity" PS3. There seems to be more attention given to the extra 40 Gigs than to the inclusion of GT5 Prologue.
I'm not sure if there were any lines for the PS3, as I didn't get out to shops early in the morning, and neither did the major sites like Famitsu and Gpara. Those sites didn't do the whole line check thing for the PSP either (something that I predict will change with the DSi launch this weekend).
There does seem to be somewhat of a retail push for the new PS3, though. The main Bic Camera in Shibuya had the PS3 prominently displayed outside its shop throughout the day today, alongside LittleBigPlanet and Grand Theft Auto IV. This shop did the same thing for the PSP, as you can see in this story that I posted to IGN (substitute a PS3 for the PSP).
I expect the PS3 to be the number one console next week. This shouldn't come as a surprise, as the drop in sales of late is likely explained by people waiting for the new model to drop.
The only question is, will the bump stay, or will the PS3 drop back to the sub 10,000 level? There is still this to deal with, after all:
Imagine how much worst it would have looked if they'd used the 360 Arcade Version's price.