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Tue, Jul 10, 2007 - Page 10 News List

Sony announces PlayStation 3 with a larger hard drive

HIGH-DEFINITION READY In April, Microsoft began selling a new Xbox version with a high-definition video connection and a 120 gigabyte hard drive


AP, Tokyo and Dallas, Texas

Sony Corp announced a revised PlayStation 3 console yesterday with a bigger hard drive for storing downloaded content such as video games and high-definition movies.

The new US$599 PS3 increases the system's storage capacity from 60 to 80 gigabytes and also includes a retail copy of the online racing title MotorStorm, a company spokesman said.

Starting yesterday, the current 60 gigabyte model will cost US$499 -- a US$100 price drop.

The larger capacity machine will not be available in North America until August.

It plays into the firm's upcoming strategy of eventually offering downloaded high-definition movies, video games, movie trailers and demos, Sony spokesman David Karraker said.

Karraker said further details on high-definition movies for download would be released at a later date.

The announcement comes two days before the E3 Media and Business Summit in Santa Monica, California, where dozens of industry heavyweights including Sony rivals Microsoft Corp and Nintendo Co are expected to show off their latest games and related products.

In April, Microsoft began selling a version of its Xbox 360 with a 120 gigabyte hard drive and a souped up high-definition video connection. Called Xbox 360 Elite, the black-colored system sells for US$479.99.

Xbox gamers who already own the US$399.99 20 gigabyte model can buy a snap-on 120 gigabyte hard drive for US$179.99.

Microsoft has no plans to cut the Japanese prices of its Xbox 360 video game console, the head of the US software maker's Japan subsidiary said yesterday.

Darren Huston, Microsoft Corp corporate vice president, said he believes Xbox 360 prices in Japan are "very competitive."

Karraker said Sony would use the E3 show to focus on two areas -- ways to increase the number of consumers who own PS3s and other products such as the PlayStation Portable handheld system, and expanding the system's library of available games.

He said Sony would be releasing 100 new video games during the current fiscal year, including 15 titles that are exclusive to the PS3 such as the hack-and-slash action title Heavenly Sword.

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