In a move that surprises no one, Sony has finally admitted that the PlayStation 3 really is getting a price cut of $100 in the US. Moreover, the 80GB model that SCEA (Sony Computer Entertainment America) had previously said was going nowhere outside Korea is also due to hit North America next month.
Starting today, US gamers will be able to pick up a 60GB PS3 for $499 (£248). This is the price point that many have long predicted, but which Sony has consistently denied . The UK equivalent machine remains on sale at around £399 - a massive difference that surely cannot last.
In the US and Canada, the 80GB PS3 will launch next month for $599 (£298). It will include a copy of the MotorStorm racing game and - possibly - up to five Blu-ray movies. Although the movie bundle has yet to be confirmed.
The official word of the price drop comes in suitably intriguing fashion for a piece of news that has been surrounded in denials and obfuscation. KOTV, an Oklahoma local TV station, published on its website an embargoed AP story confirming the move several hours early. Whether it was on purpose or not is unclear, but it seems in keeping with Sony's M.O. over PS3 pricing.
Sony's aggressive price cut comes in the week of the revamped E3 gaming show in California, at which Nintendo and Microsoft will reveal their latest strategies for their various games platforms.