Rumors about an 80 GB version of Sony’s PlayStation 3 video game console have been swirling for months, but today Sony officially lifted the fog and announced it plans to offer an 80 GB PlayStation 3…in South Korea.
Speculation on an 80 GB version of Sony’s flagship game console began in March when the FCC approved a new Bluetooth module for a PS3 unit which, coincidentally, bore an 80 GB hard drive, and fuel was added to the debate when Sony discontinued the low-end 20 GB version of the console last month. Now, Sony has officially announced (Korean) it will offer an 80 GB version of the PlayStation 3 in South Korea beginning June 16, at a price of 518,000 won (about $580 USD).
The announcement is somewhat unexpected for Sony, which is known for rolling out new products in its Japanese home turf before offering them to international markets. More surprising is taht the company has not announced any plans to offer the 80 GB PS3 in other markets—including Japan, North America, and Europe. Sony justified introducing the higher-capacity system in South Korea due to the prevalence of broadband Internet access.
Aside from the 80 GB drive, the unit is identical to the 60 GB version of the PS2 released in Europe—which includes emulation of older PlayStation hardware which reduces Sony’s manufacturing costs, but also reduces compatibility with legacy PS2 and PSOne games.