The feature-gimped PlayStation 3 with a 40 GB hard drive is coming to North America at a reduced price, but without the ability to play PlayStation 2 games. If you thought Sony was removing the PS2 guts out of the system, saving them gobs of cash and passing the savings on to you, late adopters, maybe you should think again. According to the Wall Street Journal's paraphrasing of SCEA boss Jack Tretton, the removal of PS2 backward compatibility and other components isn't "dramatically reducing Sony's cost of manufacturing" on Sony's behemoth console.
Instead, the handicapping of the PS3 was part of an effort to "encourage buyers of the entry-level PlayStation 3 to purchase more games designed specifically for the new system". If only there were some other ways of doing that outside of ripping out the PS3's ability to play PS2 games better than an actual PS2 in so many cases.
God, I just can't think of any. Obviously having better PS3 software won't work. Nor would working more closely with third parties to help them ship their PS3 ports of Xbox 360 titles day and date, feature for feature. I'll admit... I'm stumped!
Sony Slashes Price of PlayStation 3 [Wall Street Journal (subscription required)]