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40GB to be released in Saudi Arabia


It seems the 40GB PlayStation 3 is slowly taking over the world, one country at a time. Now that it's headed to every major region, Sony has announced its new system bundled with the Spider-man 3 Blu-ray will soon be released in Saudi Arabia for SR 1,799.

"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 Abdul Kader, marketing manager at MECL. "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."

Although we weren't aware Saudi Arabians were big on gaming, it's great to see Sony spreading the 40GB love throughout the world.

HD DVD group: Cheaper PS3 won't help Blu-ray sales

While gamers and retail chains have been mostly praising Sony's new cheaper PS3 (aside from the backward-compatibility issue), the European HD DVD Promotional Group has said the 40GB system won't have much impact on Blu-ray sales in the region.

"The European PS3 price cut will have a minimal impact on the adoption of next generation HD formats. The real battleground is in sales of standalone players and HD DVD is out in front by a massive margin," Co-Chairman of the European HD DVD Promotional Group Ken Graffeo said. According to the group, HD DVD accounts for about 70 percent of the European market, and it expects that number to continue to grow.

However, many believe this year's holiday period will go a long way in deciding which format will reign as king, and we think the HD DVD group may be underestimating the impact of the 40GB PS3.

SCE Australia boss talks 40GB PS3


After announcing that the 40GB PlayStation 3 is headed to Australia, Sony has set some lofty expectations for the new console in the region, Michael Ephraim told Gamespot. The Sony Computer Entertainment of Australia managing editor claimed that while Sony has sold 83,000 units since its launch in March, it expects to meet or exceed that number by the end of the year.

Ephraim also continued Sony's recent tactic of downplaying the significance of the lack of backward compatibility, he also said that at this point, the PS3 and the Wii should no longer be compared to each other. "Nintendo Wii should be compared with PlayStation 2 for the functionality, the experience, and the demographic it appeals to. Consumers in that space will compare between a PS2 and a Wii, not a Wii and a PS3 – they're just completely different animals," he said.

This isn't the first time Sony's said one of its products isn't in direct competition with Nintendo's, but it'd be interesting to see if it'd be singing the same tune if the sales numbers were reversed.

Water-cooled PS3: liquid engineering at its finest

Live in a really hot apartment? Don't think your PS3 is fanning enough cool air into itself to continue normal operations? Well, user Dragonpower over at the official PlayStation forums has a solution in progress for you -- a PS3 that's water-cooled ... literally! We can't even comprehend how this works, especially when looking at those menacing tubes and fans jutting out of his system. According to Dragonpower, the system runs at a cool 32 degrees Celsius under a heavy load, but the fans and such remain mostly silent. Hats off to this idea, really!

40GB PS3 headed Down Under

After finally taking the wraps of its new 40GB PS3, Sony has now confirmed its new system will also be headed to Australia beginning Oct. 11 for A$699.95.

While we're sure this news will overjoy Australians who've been impatiently awaiting a more affordable PS3, there's still no word yet whether they will also see the lower-priced 60GB PS3 bundle like their friends in the UK. Either way, it seems Sony has taken care of the largest regions at this point, and it will be interesting to see what other markets are next in line.

GAME excited by new PS3 model


It seems gamers aren't the only people excited about Sony's cheaper 40GB PlayStation 3 as UK retail store GAME has recently given its stamp of approval.

"We feel that this is a very positive move from Sony. The price reduction will make it easier for even more customers to enjoy the incredible gaming experience you get with a PS3," said GAME Commercial Director Tricia Brennan. "There are more games consoles available than ever before, and today's price cut means they all represent amazing value for money when you consider the incredible technology and sheer volume of entertainment that they offer."

It's great to see retailers rallying behind Sony, and we're sure the company welcomes the positive feedback as it tries to downplay the significance of the 40GB's slimmed down feature set.

40GB's loss of backwards compatibility explained


Now that Sony has finally come clean and announced its new 40GB PlayStation 3, it's got some "splaining to do." The biggest issue on most gamer's minds is why Sony decided to cut the backwards compatibility feature that linked the PS3 with the PlayStation consoles that came before it.

SCEE managing director Ray Maguire said Sony will use the money it dedicated towards backwards compatibility to invest in new games or to perhaps lower prices so more gamers can afford to buy a PS3. "It was a big decision, and we know it is a very emotive subject as lots of people think that backwards compatibility is high on the agenda and yet few really use it," he said.

We're not sure how Maguire came to this conclusion, but the PS3's backwards compatibility feature is always one that we've appreciated for a long time. With Sony's commitment to a 10-year life span of its hardware and games still being published for last generation's console, it seems like an odd choice to "cut the cord" at this point.

7200 rpm HDD may increase your PS3's performance

The standard HDD that comes with your PS3 is 5400 rpm -- not bad, but not the best on the market. We've stumbled across a write-up detailing the addition of a different hard drive, running at 7200 rpm, and its effect on a various array of games and other such things. While we wouldn't recommend you all rush out and do this, as long-term effects can't possibly be gauged just yet, it's still interesting to consider the ways Sony fans can customize their console to be unique. We'll outline the results below.
  • Temperature testing against the two hard drives yielded a minimal difference; no overheating will occur with a 7200 rpm drive, ostensibly.
  • Installing demos after downloading off the PSN had an average of ten seconds shaved off due to the higher rpm drive, except that Tony Hawk demo, with destroyed over forty seconds of install time. Impressive.
  • Loading games generally yielded minimal results, unless you consider 2 seconds of load time a big deal.
In conclusion, yes, a 7200 rpm drive increases your PS3's performance, but it's generally nothing that makes soil our underwear. While two seconds off load time is nice, it's not like we'd do much besides scratch ourselves in that time frame. And sometimes, it's a great itch to scratch and playing a game would totally throw us off. Thoughts?

EB Games still has 20GB PS3s available


We know Sony probably has a new PS3 model in the works, but this is just plain ol' silly. Could the left-for-dead 20GB PS3 be making a triumphant return from the grave? If EB Games' website is to be believed, it could seem so as the retailer lists the stripped-down model for only $450, which is about $50 more than the rumored 40GB unit.

Most likely, the company is trying to burn through some of its old stock or it's just a mistake, but hey, if you really need a cheaper PS3 right now, why not take the plunge?

[via Destructoid]

40GB PS3 listed on FCC website



The rumors of Sony's mythical 40GB PS3 have been swirling around almost as fast as Lyndsay Lohan ruining her career, but until now, we haven't had any hard proof of the former. A recent Sony FCC filing suggests a new PS3 model, designated CECHG01, is coming, despite the company's recent denials.

Unlike what previous stories suggested, it looks like Wi-Fi and USB ports will remain in this new model, but there wasn't any information on the size of its hard drive, which I'm sure the ladies are just dying to know.

If Sony can keep everything inside the PS3 that makes it so great, but drop the hard drive down a bit and hit the more consumer-friendly price tag of $399, it could find that audience who has been reluctant to join the Sony Army.

[via Engadget]

Rumour: 40GB PS3 coming says Sky; £299 in UK says CVG

In a (not very) surprise revelation Sky, the British broadcasting supplier, has stated that they expect the fabled 40GB PS3 to be announced this week. They claim that this new model will lack several features of the 60GB/80GB such as backwards compatability (both hardware and software emulation) as well as USB ports. We're more inclined to believe that WiFi would be removed before USBs as some games will require them. Imagine if people lured into buying a new PS3 at a lower price weren't able to play games like Guitar Hero III, Rock Band or anything involving the PlayStation Eye.

The price is still rumoured to be at $399, which we've always said would make an excellent low-end price for the system. Elsewhere reports are coming in that the UK will be receiving this new SKU as well and that it will sell for £299. Though all of this information is still classified as heavily rumoured, CVG has been told by multiple sources that Sony will introduce the 40GB model in Great Britain (and, presumably, the rest of Europe) at this price, which makes it around the same price as an Xbox 360 Elite.

To cap off today's rumour-fest, Sony was touted to make these announcements at Tokyo Game Show (which didn't happen) or early this week. We'll let you know what happens.

Cell and GPU work better together than either alone

The subject line is based on a series of facts, with hard numbers, released by a report by Sony themselves regarding the PS3's deferred shading and rendering. This is a detailed, confusing report, so if you're not a really techno-savvy lord with other techno-geeks buying you groceries or rubbing your hands to ease the twitch-reaction from all the mousing and keyboarding, it might go over your head. But for those with a keen interest in algorithms and the PS3's abilities, this is a delight to read and proves, ostensibly, the PS3 can generate processing power and graphical ability beyond a doubt above non-hybrid structures.

To help understand the numbers, graphs, charts, and whatnot in the report, we're going to use the abstract summary at the beginning of the report to show how the PS3 is proving its muscle through facts, not fanboyism. They summed the report up with this: "The SPEs use the Cell/B.E. DMA list capability to gather irregular fine-grained fragments of texture data generated by the GPU. They return resultant shadow textures the same way. The
shading computation ran at up to 85 Hz at HDTV 720p resolution on 5 SPEs and generated 30.72 gigaops of
performance. This is comparable to the performance of the algorithm running on a state of the art high end GPU. These results indicate that the Cell/B.E. can effectively enhance the throughput of a GPU in this hybrid system by alleviating the pixel shading bottleneck."

It seems there is a reason behind devs choosing to stick with the 720p resolution if that's the case. You can download the report and check it out for yourself here if you'd like and draw your own conclusion, but we think this tells us the PS3 made the right decision in creating a hybrid solution with the Cell and GPU. Leave us your take!

Rumor: New 40GB PS3 at $399.99 for the holidays

Ars Technica has their very own mole, who they say is very good at what he does. Looks like he dug up some interesting stuff on Sony's plan for the holiday season. The rumor is as follows: the 80GB PS3 falls to $499.99, and a brand new 40GB PS3 is offered at $399.99.

Analysts have predicted the 80GB price drop before. As for this 40GB model, we've had a few tip offs that it might be in the works. In addition, the mole adds that Spider-Man 3 Blu-ray may be packed in with one or both of the bundles, and the PS2 drops to $99.99. Of course, these are merely rumors, so don't hold your breath while waiting for lower priced PS3s. We expect to find out more at Tokyo Game Show.

[via Digg]

Heavenly Sword + Formula 1 bundle confirmed ... for France

Kotaku, our friendly blogging neighbours, have solved The Case of the New PS3 Bundle. Contacting SCEE directly, they were able to determine that while the new Heavenly Sword plus Formula 1 bundle is real, it's only going to be available in France and will be released there on September 19th.

SCEE also confirmed that each European market is able to set up their own starter pack deals, which is why this one is only available in France. No doubt we'll be seeing more of these bundles come out in various countries with different games in each. First one to release the Heavenly Sword + Warhawk pack wins.

Rumour: Sony to announce a Heavenly Sword + Formula 1 EU Starter Pack


We're classing this one as a rumour because we have no experience with NeoGAF user Robinspain's backstory. Regardless, the other NeoGAF users seem to have no qualms in believing him today when he revealed that Sony will be announcing a new PlayStation 3 Starter Pack in Europe. He even posted a nice promo image of the box, as you can see above.

While the price remains the same (€599/£425) the contents of the box has changed to include an extra controller and the games Formula 1 and Heavenly Sword. Generally speaking, Heavenly Sword and Formula 1 appeal to completely different tastes. Perhaps this is Sony's way of making the console appeal to different members of the family. A Blu-Ray player for the dad, a racing game for the son and a woman-power adventure game for the daughter/mum? It screams of check-all-the-boxes, target-every-demographic marketing which, until games like Singstar are released, won't work too well.

This is all moot, of course, as ever since the Starter Pack was released shortly after E3, stores have been soft-bundling different games with the PS3 at the Starter Pack price. It's no harder to pick up a PS3 with Genji and Ridge Racer than it is to get one with Motorstorm and Resistance at the same price. Lastly, you may have noticed that neither of the in-box games have two player split-screen, so why the extra controller? Remove F1 and stick in the Warhawk Blu-Ray disc and the bundle suddenly becomes far more worthwhile.

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