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The plot thickens - 40GB PS3 found on Play.com

As if we needed further confirmation that the 40GB PS3 is on its way Play.com are listing such a creature on their website. Though it is not yet available, and has no price attached to it, there is a sign up sheet where you can express interest by submitting your email address. The listing says that the 40GB PS3 will lack any backwards compatibility and will have only two USB ports. We're curious that there is no mention of the memory card readers as we would have suspected those to be the first to go, before the USB ports.

The biggest piece of information to come out of this (other than an all-out confirmation that the 40GB is going to happen) is that Europe (or, at least, the UK) will be getting a slice of the 40GB pie. This is great news considering David Reeves, president of SCEE, has stated that a price cut will not be happening this year in European territories, instead opting to produce "value added bundles" like the starter pack. How much the 40GB will cost in Europe is still a mystery, though a £299 price point has been kicking around recently.

With the new PS3 SKU all but confirmed, we're anxious to see what Sony's "big bang" announcement will be later this month. If retailers are already advertising for the device on their site then Sony are going to have to reveal a little more than we already know to truly impress us. We'll see what happens when the twelfth swings around.

[Thanks Daniel!]

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. I am just curious as to how they can take out BC. It has always been one of the major draws of the Playstation brand and without the EE chip, it is all done by software now. Does this mean that this version of the PS3 will be unable to read DVD and CD game discs? All these places make it seem like Sony will start selling an even more gimped system than the 360 core is right now. If this is true, then there is no way that this system will help Sony in any way except to drive away potential consumers.

I can understand taking out a few USB ports and maybe the memory stick reader, which you can buy for like $12, but the BC?

This "Big Bang" is sounding more like a failed lab experiment than a sound theory.

Posted at 1:19PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by Jason B.

2. We are quite sure there will be a 40 GB? :)

But anyways, that will also mean cheaper PS3's in Denmark. And the prices in UK and DK is nearly identical. We can get the 60 GB for £350 :D

But it doesen't matter to me, because I've one, but maybe it matters to my friends ;q

Posted at 1:20PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by Jakob

3. I don't think they will drop the BC, since it doesen't cost them anything to leave it, since they already support the system on the other models!

Posted at 1:22PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by Jakob

4. I'm guessing they just mean there is no EE chip in it, it probably will still have BC.

Posted at 1:23PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by Random1448

5. The PAL machines have the EE taken out but the GS is still there. If Sony manages to do BC totally in software this SKU would then, in theory, have BC given back to it.

Posted at 1:24PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by A

6. Isn't the 80GB backwards compatibility all software-based now too? If so, I can't see how this new unit wouldn't have it since it's a firmware thing. Or maybe by saying it won't play PS2 games means the firmware isn't out for it yet?

Posted at 1:25PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by Cagalli

7. What am i missing out on without the usb ports? I have a PS1, PS2 and a PSP. The only thing stopping me getting a PS3 is the price, the imminent rumble controller and the games. When the rumble and games come as a package i'll be getting a PS3, cheaper the better of course. Just wondering how important those extra ports are in the grand scheme of things. one for headset 1 for the cam? Would i be missing out on the kb/m combo then? That it?

Posted at 1:35PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by Chrispy

8. And really it doesen't matter, you can just buy a USB hub. For my purpose, I will use my USB ports to PlayTV, external hdd, usb key etc.

Posted at 1:42PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by Jakob

9. Since when was play.com a reliable source of information?

1) removing BC would go against one of the core elements of Playstation as a platform. Removing the EE chip leaves the GS chip. The GS chip is not so easily emulated as the EE. Since the game library for the PS3 is still pretty thin, I just can't see this happening. If by some clever miracle they have managed to persuade several SPUs on the cell to act like the GS, or they have come up with a way of making RSX respond like the GS, then I could see them perhaps moving to software. But that's a pretty big IF.

2) what's the point of a two port USB reduction? It would save perhaps 50 cents.

3) removing the memory card reader as well as two USB ports? Nonsense. If you remove the card reader you leave the USB ports to allow customers to add their own card reader.

This Play.com 'information' is nonsense. They've simply over-reacted to the rumors.

If this new SKU comes along and has a lower power requirement (reportedly it does according to the FCC data) then perhaps the unit has a new and improved BD drive? Hey, maybe even a 65nm Cell and/or RSX? Either way if the unit is cheaper the cost reductions will have come from more highly integrated components, maturing manufacturing processes of items such as BD dives, and perhaps a cheaper case, HSF and PSU. Dropping BC, which even in it's less compatible software form is still excellent relative to that offered by console X, would be a poorly received move.

Posted at 1:46PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by Highlader

10. No, 80GB BC isn't all SW.

60GB NTSC has a Emotion Engine and Graphics Synthesizer. This is the most HW based BC.

60GB PAL and all 80GBs have just the Graphics Synthesizer, the EE is emulated in SW. This is what people call "software" BC, but isn't really all SW.

If this had no GS at all, it is possible it could have zero BC.

Taking two USB ports off makes a ton of sense to me. Most people never use them and you can always use a hub if you need more ports.

Posted at 1:50PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by why not the LS2/LS7?

11. i keep hearing that the new $399 PS3 isnt going to have back compatibility and no usb ports. both of which are the stupidest things ive ever heard. the new one might not have the ps2 chip in it and have 99.9% back compatibility like the 60 gig, but theres no way its not gonna have ANY backcompatibility, especially considering that its SOFTWARE EMULATED (same as 80 gig). and i can understand having only 2 usb ports but none is downright rediculous considering the six-axis and dualshock3 have built in batteries and need a usb connection to charge them.

Posted at 2:09PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by tazzb

12. This is nothing more than speculation. All of these sites - save for Ars Technica who covered only the 40gb detail - are just flailing wildly and making extravagant claims simply so they can say "See? Our 'Sources' were right! Read our site more!".

BC is software emulation. There's absolutely no reason not to include it.

Posted at 2:15PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by Skyfire360

13. This is nothing more than speculation. All of these sites - save for Ars Technica who covered only the 40gb detail - are just flailing wildly and making extravagant claims simply so they can say "See? Our 'Sources' were right! Read our site more!".

BC is software emulation. There's absolutely no reason not to include it.

Posted at 2:16PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by Skyfire360

14. "BC is software emulation. There's absolutely no reason not to include it."

Yeah, it's probably more trouble to actually remove/disable it from the firmware than to keep it in. Everything has to be tested, yet another firmware base to maintain and update along other versions etc etc...

I'm starting to think that the new $399 (or whatever) just has a smaller hard drive and maybe they've gotten rid of the memory card reader.

FCC docs show that Bluetooth is still in, as is WLAN. Surely the USB ports will stay, as will HDMI and so on.

Now get that baby over here to Europe for 399 EUR or less.

Posted at 2:37PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by ouj

15. "Please Note! 40GB PS3 is not backward compatible with PS2 games." - How is that POSSIBLE? makes no sense at ALL!

Let the internet rumorfactsmashmachine sort it out .. the 12 is soon enough ;)

Posted at 2:57PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by Joshua Hernandez

16. Yeah I agree with you guys, removing BC would be completely stupid. Eventually (if not now) BC should be done 100% in software. There have been emulators around for the PC for awhile, mostly incomplete and buggy with most games, but still playable with some.

Play.com sounds like they're just dreaming shit up honestly. One site said no usb, now we're hearing only 2 usb ports and no BC, next we'll hear BC + 4 usb - wireless or some other dumbass combination.

Enough with the rumoring. We'll see it when it hits.

Posted at 3:10PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by Popfrogs

17. Let's just wait a week for some answers.

Posted at 3:28PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by ruibing

18. What if it had no BC but BC could be purchased from the PS store for $29.99 as software?

I honestly think what we're looking at is a 40GB PS3 with everything but BC and two USB ports and it WILL have the WiFi (Sony has too much money invested in the net & Home projects). This isn't so bad guys.

If you want BC for sure just throw down $499 for the 80GB.

Posted at 5:07PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by kibbled_bits

19. I think many sites now says, that Sony launch the console the 12th, just because they are quite sure, because there had been so many rumors, and I think play.com only do it to get attention.

I think there will be BC, but I've also heard that it will only contains 2 USB ports. Maybe it doesen't make sense, but if the only difference was 20 GB and $100, what do you choose then?

Posted at 5:16PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by Jakob

20. i dont know why you guys are stressin about the price...you are paying for a blu-ray dvd player that plays video games, its hard enough to find a blu-ray player for under 400. so you get a video game system for 100 extra $$. i personally cannot wait for game developers to figure out how to use the PS3 becasue games will be like never before, disgustingly massive with top notch graphics...untill then though ill stick to my 360.

Posted at 2:46AM on Oct 3rd 2007 by skrilla

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