Rumours associated with the supposedly imminent phasing out of Sony’s 80GB PlayStation 3 have gathered pace today with online chatter suggesting a GameStop conference call has confirmed Sony’s shift of focus to a higher capacity hard drive.
According to reports referring to the conference call, the 80GB model is no longer in production and Sony will soon reveal a new PlayStation 3 package equipped with a minimum of 120GB of memory (up to 160GB) and also the rumble-enabled Dual Shock 3 controller.
If this latest boost to the ongoing enlarged hard drive rumour pans out, then it is likely that Sony may opt to officially announce its beefier console at the upcoming Game Developers Conference (GDC), which will take place in San Francisco from February 18 to February 22.
Indicators of the possible hardware discontinuation first emerged last week when a leaked memo from American retailer Best Buy outlined that Sony was preparing to abandon its 80GB model, which was then followed by the removal of that product from Best Buy’s official website.
There is currently no pricing information to accompany the projected arrival of the 120-160GB PlayStation 3, although speculation points to it adopting the current $499 USD slot occupied by the 80GB model.
Also, it remains to be seen whether any such enlarged HDD PS3 (which maintains the price of the smaller model) will include backward compatibility, a fan-favourite feature that was lost during the recent introduction of the value 40GB version of Sony’s console.Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.