Rumour: 80GB PS3 Phased Out In Australia, New PS3 Incoming?

We heard earlier today that the 80GB PS3 is being discontinued in Japan. It looks like the same thing is happening in Australia, too.

Several sources we have spoken to recently claim that stock levels of the 80GB PS3 console around the country have hit rock bottom. That is, Sony isn't supplying new shipments of the 80GB PS3 console, leaving retail to sell what they currently have on the shelf.

What does this mean? It sounds like Sony is clearing the retail channel in preparation for a new SKU or a new model of the PS3 console. Or they're doing it in preparation for a price drop. In both cases, it's in Sony's interest to shift all that existing stock before any announcement is made.

Could it be a PS3 with a larger hard drive? We think not. Sony already lets consumers upgrade their hard drive at purchase, so it wouldn't make sense to clear out the 80GB consoles just to pave the way for a 160GB console.

Could it be a price drop? Possibly. If Sony drops the price while retail is still full of current stock, they lose money. Retail has bought those consoles for a higher price than they're now able to sell them, and someone has to pay for that difference. For a business bleeding money, that's not something they'd be keen on.

Could it be the rumoured PS3 Slim? Again, possibly. Sony would want all the 80GBs gone before rolling out a slimmer, cheaper console. And the timing ties in with the unconfirmed retail listing on the German Amazon site over the weekend.

I recently spoke with Michael Ephraim, head of Sony Australia's PlayStation business and I asked him if the 80GB PS3 at $699 was where they wanted to be.

"Let's face it, we'd love to have a lower retail price, but we're a company that needs to deliver a profitable result. The weakness in the Australian dollar hasn't helped, you know, from being at almost parity to now being in the 70-plus cents range.

"As far as the model is concerned, we're comfortable with the 80GB... which is of course upgradeable, so that storage capacity isn't really a factor. And if you look at our sales where we're tracking well against our competitor at a premium, I think we have a lot of value that's just based on consumers understanding what the device can do. As people understand that more, the price becomes less of a factor."

Ephraim understandably refused to confirm that the 80GB SKU would be their only hardware offering come the end of the year.

If you work in retail, let us know if you've heard anything more.


Comments

    Definitely more than a rumour, many a friend in retail will tell you for months it has been nearly impossible to get PS3's in that weren't the bundles.

    Looks like someone is clearing the retail channel for something...

    I think Sony will sell a cheaper to produce PS3 in the coming months, i read something about production costs of the ps3 being down 70% since launch

    I think people tend to hype up the price a little too much.

      No, I think the price is very important. The sales figures for the PS3 clearly show that it's not performing, and one reason for that is the rather large price. I have one, but would not recommend it at the current price.

      Sony need the PS3 Slim out there at a markedly reduced price, pronto. When everyone from retailers to game developers to the WSJ is telling you that you need to lower your price, it's worth paying attention to. When your sales figures are actually lower than they were at this time last year, then something drastic has to be done.

      Lower the price, increase profitability through the attach rate, PSN offerings and peripherals.

    I have it confirmed. PS3 Slim announced at Gamescom

    http://www.thefragfile.com/2009/08/03/exclusive-ps3-slimprice-drop-coming-at-gamescom/

      OH MY GOD I CANT BELIEVE IT
      You got Kaz Hirai to admit it, thats awsom.......

      OH Right you dont have anything confirmed.. Trash site! &@#[email protected]#$ %#@$
      Seriously who isnt expecting it to be there?? Obvious much?

      OH I HAVE IT CONFIRMED!

      well, it wasn't any less confirmed than anyone else... but...

    if they release a new version that is backwards compatible, i will be quite annoyed as i only just gave up waiting and bought an 80gb...

    My brother works in retail and told months ago this was coming. A smaller, cheaper ps3 is due very very soon according to Sony reps.

    There *is* a reason for them to bump the hard drive size. Specifically, hard drive manufacturers increase their capacity periodically, and in so doing slowly phase out the smaller-capacity drives. Part cost follows an inverse bell curve. They start expensive, get cheaper per unit due to manufacturing improvements, economies of scale etc, but then as they're superseded they will actually become more expensive again.

    I don't think that they're at the point where the price per unit on 80gb drives is such that they're more expensive than larger drives yet, but it does play a part. In fact, hard drive costs was one of the major reasons the original Xbox never made a profit on hardware - they had a fixed-size drive, and after a while those drives literally were not being made any more, making them cost a lot more. At one point MS were installing larger hard drives in newer Xboxes and not allocating all the available space so they looked like they were the same capacity as older systems.

    It's also why both MS and Sony have made the hard drive a replaceable and variable-size component. I'd wager you'd find that the reason neither company makes 20gb machines any more is because the cost to them to put a 20gb drive in is equal to or greater than a higher-capacity drive.

    I am so sick of this bullshit.

    I've been waiting for a price drop for ages.

    Hurry up and bite the bullet Sony! Otherwise I might go spend the money on upgrading my PC instead.

    I agree that the price needs to drop. I think the price is its only downfall (not counting exclusive DLC, of course).

    I only know 2 other people personally who have a PS3, because its just so much cheaper to buy a 360. 4 games & a 360 for $457, thats a steal.

    And Wii's are cheaper even still. One game a year worth buying. So cheap.

    hmmm half expect a new sku or a new console, but unlikely it being sony, need more info, kotaku stalker team go!

    i think the only people saying the PS3 is too expensive are people who only own xboxes...

    the PS3 sold 1.1m consoles to xbox 1.2m last quarter... if there is a price drop, it'll just spur the sales on

    A mate of mine who works in a Target store out in Western Sydney picked up a PS3 console for $200 about a month ago - they were heavily discounting them for some reason. They sold about 20 in less than an hour. This was about a month ago, however, so I would have thought they'd have already gotten replacement stock in by now.

      They were the 40gb consoles. they sold out in like an hour. sob's...

    I don't know If I can buy a ps3 just for Valkyria chronicles and little big planet.

    Saw in GAME today that they were clearing out the 80GB PS3s for a 'new model'.

    Wonder what that will be.

    I was in Game in Adelaide today, they've got no PS3's in stock, just a sign up suggesting you "reserve yours today!". I asked the guy at the counter and he said there was a shortage Australia-wide, because Sony were "clearing it out in preparation for something new, which is yet to be announced." He didn't claim to know what it was, suggested either a new bundle, bigger HDD, price cut or cheaper slim model. Rule out the first 2 since they've already done both of those without clearing out the old stock first. He also said they were expecting to have stock again around late August, early September, which also ties in to the other rumours that have been floating around lately.

    A friend of mine living in the southern suburbs confirms that the GameTraders down his way is also out of stock.

    A little too much smoke for there to be no fire this time, methinks.

    I work in retail. Sony are refusing to admit anything to our own buyers, let alone the general public or the media. Trust me on this, when we know about it (end of August was the date given for whatever the hell it is theyre revealing), we will let you guys know.

    I work in a videogame store, and it is true that stock of PS3s have hit rock bottom (at the moment, anyway). However, there has been no announcement to the company via coming soon lists or SKU lookups that there is a new PS3. We will see.

    “Let’s face it, we’d love to have a lower retail price, but we’re a company that needs to deliver a profitable result. The weakness in the Australian dollar hasn’t helped, you know, from being at almost parity to now being in the 70-plus cents range.
    ---

    *cough* It's closer to 85 cents now. *cough*
    And besides, screw the Aussie dollar. You sell a console at a profit, meaning cost minus price. Seventy percent drop in manufacturing cops? Even if it's still *cough* expensive, that's still a massive drop, and should be reciprocated in some way for the price.

    I work at GAME and we have had no PS3 units for at least a couple weeks. GAME stores have "Preorder Now!" signage for PS3 units.
    What I've been told is that our Sony rep "doesn't know whats coming through" AKA bullshit.

    I work at Dick Smith, the 80gb console has been on the way out for at least 1-2 months and is actually listed as "Discontinued" on our system. Nothing has been mentioned directly to us at store level as to what replaces it, but you can only assume PS3 Slim.

    The other option one has to consider is Sony may have intentionally cut manufacturing several months ago in a desperate attempt to reduce costs this financial year.

    Here at Harvey Norman we've been told that stock will be available towards the end of August. No news about the 80GB being discontinued though, just that Sony Australia were out of stock.

    Maybe this is why the Elite is out of stock. MS are planning ahead for whenever Sony do announce a new SKU perhaps.

    Just a thought.

    ANd i think people over-talk the price. Get over it! It's all business.
    If you want one as much as you say, its not very hard to save $20-$50 a week and eventually buy it within a few months.

    I dont think the Slim if they bring it out will be too much cheaper. I mean it would cost them no less to produce as they would need smaller technology with motherboards & all. That wouldn't come too cheap.

    EB staffer here, we were told a bit over a week ago, that there wouldn't be anymore consoles coming into stores for at least 2-3 weeks, and to take pre-orders... similar to GAME i guess... why either would bother taking pre-orders if there's a new model coming, i don't know.

    The Sony Playstation 3 80gb is the best game console on the planet, i guess. sony should not stop manufacturing and shipping them. what they should do is to cutt off the price to a more affordable rate. we need more of PS3 80gb on our markets!

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