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As Sony comes under multiple attacks for refusing to lower the price of the Playstation 3, it seems there may have been method to their madness. The current 80GB PS3 looks to be getting phased out in preparation for a 120GB Slim PS3 to be announced August 18.

As reported by Ars Technica in June, the PS3 Slim was on track to be released around September although other curious details now suggest an earlier release date.  One the one hand, a Japanese retailer has revealed that they have been told that the 80GB PS3 will no longer be available for order after August 9.  Then we have the German gaming trade fair “Gamescom” being held in Cologne starting August 18 which is when it is tipped Sony will announce the new PS3 Slim according to Belgian news website RTLinfo.  We broke the announcement date on 23rd June in this article.

Ars Technica expect the Slim will cost far less than the current PS3 and will have a 120GB hard drive.  At the same time, Microsoft is expected to lower the price of the Xbox 360 Elite and phase out the 60GB Pro model.  This could definitely reignite the console race which has been leaning heavily in Microsoft’s favour but whether the slim will actually be announced or not at Gamescom is a matter of conjecture at this point.  It would certainly seem that this would be a smart and logical move for Sony but it may well be yet another rumour, however likely it appears.

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