Sony considers new PlayStation 3 versions

Improved storage not the only upgrade on the cards

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Sony said this morning that it is seriously considering building a new PlayStation 3 console with a larger hard disk to cater for heavy PS3 users who play so much that they need extra space.

If it goes ahead, the project would most likely also be initiated in an effort to bring the PS3 in line with the Xbox 360 Elite which is going to launch later this year with a 120GB hard drive.

Sony currently offers a 60GB PS3 model worldwide, with a 20GB model which has recently been discontinued everywhere but Sony's Japanese homeland.

"For users who vigorously store games and other entertainment content in the PS3, 20GB is probably going to be too small, and even 60GB may not be big enough eventually," Sony Computer Entertainment spokesman Satoshi Fukuoka said.

Higher capacity

The number being talked about is 80GB for a new model, although it seems more likely that Sony would at least match the Elite's 120GB or maybe even go a bit bigger to out-do its Microsoft rival.

Fukuoka also said that future hardware improvements to the PS3 are definitely not just limited to improving the size of the internal storage drive.

"We are not likely to change its core components and functions such as the Cell, RSX, Blu-ray drive and network capability. But outside that realm, addition and deletion is quite possible," he said.

The PlayStation 3 is so costly to produce that even though Sony charges £425 for those sold in the UK, the company is still making a loss on each one. Sony's game unit has lost nearly £1bn in the last financial year as a result, but hopes to make the money back from games sales.

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