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Breaking News: Sony Drops 60GB PS3 Price To $499

Sony opened up the E3 expo early and with a bang- it announced that the rumors are true and that the current 60GB PlayStation3 will drop $100 in price and will now sell for $499. In addition, Sony will introduce an 80GB PlayStation3 that will occupy the $599 price slot.

For those wondering how an increased hard-drive size benefits a game console, Sony stressed that the PlayStation Network will offer an increased amount of game-related downloads, and indicated that the download services will expand into videos, movies and "other entertainment content."

While Sony has had what would seem to be excellent success with the PS3, selling over 1.5 million units in the US alone and over 3.5 million units worldwide in the eight months since its introduction, it's Nintendo's Wii that has set the gaming world on fire. Selling for just $250 the Wii has sold nearly 8.6 million units worldwide.

Industry pundits have surmised that a price drop wouldn't hurt, and some even called for a much lower-priced PS3 based on a DVD drive instead of a Blu-ray drive to compete on price with the Wii. Sony seems to be taking another approach- selling the PS3 on the basis of it being a media hub, and expanding its network capabilities.

So, the important news for the home theater enthusiast is that the Sony BDP-S300's reign as the least expensive Blu-ray player didn't last very long. The PS3 is the most full-featured Blu-ray Disc player available by a long shot, and now it's still the least expensive.

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