With just hours to go before Sony’s Tokyo Game Show press conference, there’s more evidence piling up that the company will announce a brand new model of the PlayStation 3 console at the event.
The latest hint comes from Polish video game website Polygamia (via CVG.) The site posted an advertisement (pictured above) from a Polish retailer promising to announce a brand new version of the PlayStation 3.
On Friday, Gamesreactor reported that a German video game retailer said come October it would start selling a new ultra slim PlayStation 3 model with 12GB of on board flash memory rather than a hard disk drive like past PS3s. This rumor jived with leaked pictures and FCC filings that hit the Internet in July.
Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter said in a Friday note to investors that he believes Sony is already preparing retailers for a brand new PlayStation 3 model. “The PlayStation 3 160 GB plus Move bundle debuted at $299 in 2010, two full years ahead of Wii U’s debut,” said Pachter, “It’s worth noting that PlayStation 3 160GB plus Move bundles have disappeared off of many retailers shelves, suggesting to us that Sony is starving the channel ahead of a new hardware introduction that would likely cost less than Wii U’s Basic Set.”
The smaller memory and console form factor are expected to come alongside a smaller price tag. Rumors during the summer suggested that this new 12GB PS3-4000 model could retail for as little as £99, around $154. Sony would still offer a $299 model, though this new version would sport a 500GB hard drive.
Sony has made price cut and new model announcements in August during the PlayStation 3’s lifespan, so tradition suggests that if Sony was going to make an announcement it would have done so at the Gamescom conference in Germany. This year is different from the past PS3 price cuts in 2009 and 2011 though. For starters, Sony still had a significant number of PlayStation 3 systems on retail shelves that needed to be sold before a new system could be announced. The bigger factor, though, is the announcement of the Nintendo Wii U’s price and release date. By waiting for the Tokyo Game Show, Sony will have the opportunity to significantly undercut both the price of the Wii U and any positive press its built up in the past week.