Sony Planning 80 GB PlayStation 3?

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closedJust a day after Microsoft officially announced its Xbox 360 Elite with a 120 GB hard drive and HDMI output, a required FCC filing hasrevealed that Sony is planning a new version of its PlayStation 3 gaming console with an 80 GB drive.

Currently, the PlayStation 3 is available in two configurations: a $499 edition with a 20 GB hard drive and wired controllers, and a $599 edition with a 60 GB hard drive and Bluetooth wireless capability. Although there is no official word from Sony on its plans for the 80 GB edition, the company has previously stated that retailers strongly prefer the 60 GB edition of the console—leading to low availability of the 20 GB edition, and prompting some potential customers balking at the console’s high price tags to wonder if Sony is trying to upsell as many buyers as possible. If Sony were to replace an offering in the existing PlayStation lineup, it seems logical to assume it would drop the 20 GB edition and add the 80 GB edition at the top of the line; otherwise, Sony might offer the 80 GB edition as a third, top-of-the-line configuration. No availability dates or pricing information is available for the 80 GB edition of the PlayStation 3.

The expanded storage capacity in the PlayStation 3 is undoubtedly to support storage of free and for-sale content from Sony’s online services, including downloadable games, video, music, and other content.

The news of an 80 GB edition of the PS3 is already prompting Xbox 360 fans to deride the console, noting that with the Xbox 360 Elite Microsoft has already leapfrogged Sony’s plans to expand the PlayStation 3. Of course, PlayStation fans will fire back that the Xbox 360 Elite isn’t significantly cheaper than the low end of Sony’s PS3 offerings, and doesn’t include a high-definition optical disc drive or support 1080p output.