Ars Technica's Opposable Thumbs has a Sony mole who has filled them in on some potentially juicy gossip. According to the insider, Sony will not be dropping their 80GB PS3 to abandon a two-model retail approach, but instead upgrading said higher tier model to better differentiate the products. In this scenario, the 80GB PS3 will see a bump to either 120GB or 160GB and include a Dual-Shock 3 controller—but still run $US 499.
Feel free to comb over the source text with a fine-toothed comb:
Sony is, in fact, phasing out the 80GB PS3. Sony is going to stay with the two-SKU approach though, and the prices look to stay the same....The Spiderman 3 pack-in will disappear as well once the 80GB unit is gone. In order to maintain a similar value proposition to the 80GB/Spiderman 3 bundle, I expect to see a storage increase to 120 or 160GB at the same price point, plus the new Dual-Shock 3 controller...
Hopefully this doesn't imply that Sony is evolving to a strategy without movie/game bundles with their consoles (which we'd doubt) . Because when Sony was generous enough to allow customers to install their own hard drives, it would seem like a waste to only use hard drives to differentiate their PS3 products (I mean, what's one rumble controller, really?).
And for those who don't know, Ars publications are highly respected in the technology industry. So that's why you'll see the internet taking this one pretty seriously.
Mole: 80GB PS3 dead, 120-160GB with Dual Shock 3 incoming [opposablethumbs]