The internet is alight with rumours of a planned €100 (£85) price cut on Sony's 80GB PS3 model across Europe to be announced at the same time at the launch of a new PS3 Slim at Germany's GamesCon event on 18 August.
The rumours follow the news that Sony is informing Japanese retailers that the 80GB PS3 model will not be shipping after 8 August.
Over in the US, Sony has cut the cost of its 160GB PlayStation 3 bundle from Amazon by $50, notes Engadget.
Over in Belgium, website RTLinfo claims that Sony has been briefing retailers of an imminent €100 (£85) price cut on the 80GB PS3
"Sony are looking to make a big splash at GamesCom, so it we'll see big hardware and software news coming out of their Press Conference," said Associate Editor of PSM3, Andy Hartup.
"There's little doubt PS3 Slim will happen at some point – PSone and PS2 went through the same treatments – and GamesCom seems like a prime time to unveil it. I wouldn't bet against a PS3 Slim / Uncharted 2 bundle appearing this October."
The PSM3 man added: "As for the price drop of the 80GB model – that's what potential buyers have been asking for. Sony have so far refused to budge on the price, but with Christmas around the corner, I'm certain we'll see a price cut – if not now – before the end of the year."
Is 100 Euros too much?
Also commenting on the price cut and PS3 Slim rumours Screen Digest Analyst Piers Harding-Rolls told TechRadar: "Both will definitely happen, we expect a slim at some point and a healthy price cut at some point."
But, he added: "Whether they happen at the same time is the question. The timing of the slimline PS3 at this point within the cycle is fairly established in terms of Sony's [previous] approach.
As for the rumoured price cut, Harding-Rolls added: "Our forecasts estimate the introduction of a price cut in September. In terms of the amount of the price cut, 100 Euros is at the top end of what we would expect, so I still think that figure is fairly speculative, because of the situation that Sony is currently in financially.
"The question is whether of not Sony has the space to make such a strong move right now. They have to take into account the longer-term approach and the PS3 lifecycle strategy."
The analyst also noted that Sony has always tried to support the games industry event in Leipzig with good announcements, so he "wouldn't be surprised if there were some fairly sizeable announcements" coming out of the show.
"The current spate of discounting of PS3s across US and European retail also suggests there is also a lot of stock in the channel – so the situation as to when Sony will decide to announce the PS3 Slim is still quite possibly somewhat fluid," adds Harding-Rolls.
Essentially, when the current discounted PS3 stock sat in warehouses or at retail is at a low enough level, Sony will be happy to announce the new PS3 Slim.
TechRadar spoke with a SCEE rep today who could not comment on the current rumour or speculation.
Stay tuned for more from GamesCon on all the latest PlayStation news from Sony's marathon three-hour press conference on 18 August.
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