Slave to the Game

Filling you in on the oddball gaming news

  • Welcome Message

Sony clearly doesn't have an issue with trying a few different pricing levels for its flagship PlayStation 3. The PlayStation 3 debuted with both a $500 and $600 price tag, but since that time much has changed.

With sales staying modest, Sony initially nixed the $500 PS3 and then announced an 80GB unit, then they dropped the price of the 60GB unit, and then revealed that the 60GB unit was "clearance." This meant that there is no official "entry level" PS3, so we've been waiting for Sony to address that issue.

In the meantime, you can see what Sony has done: the company has focused on reducing the cost of building the PS3 while also closely watching how sales of lower-priced units are doing. The time is ripe for a new PS3 model to hit the scene, and we strongly believe that the company is about to launch a $399 PS3 in time for the holiday season. We've been hearing rumors to this effect for some time, but now the evidence of a new PlayStation 3 configuration is almost undeniable: an FCC filing details a new model number for the system.

What this new model number means is impossible to know for sure; the FCC filing leaves out pictures to "avoid premature release of sensitive information prior to marketing or release of the product to the public." The product description tells us that there is no difference in the wireless configuration, CPU, or Bluetooth aspects of this new PlayStation 3. The information that details the differences has been conveniently left out of the released paperwork, for the aforementioned reason.

So what does this mean? We know something new is coming, but everything else is open to speculation. Luckily we have sources in the industry who have long been telling us about an upcoming $399 40GB PlayStation 3. A $399 PlayStation 3 would be a great way to get new consumers into the Blu-ray enabled system for the holidays, and it would help to counter the Xbox 360's lower price and newly announced pack-in software.

We also have a date to pin this information to: our sources tell us that the $399 PlayStation 3 hardware will launch on, or before, November 16. We're confident in this information, as our sources in this area have always given us accurate information in the past. The "sensitive information" in the FCC filing will go public 45 days from September 4, unless something changes. We're confident saying that Sony is readying a new low-priced weapon for the console wars, regardless. Frankly, we also think it makes good sense.

Why didn't Sony announce this at the Tokyo Game Show? We reason that the company will hold off as long as possible on the announcement so as not to stymie existing sales.


Microsoft has begun selling Xbox 360 consoles equipped with 65nm chips - parts that pump out less heat than the 90nm silicon found in older 360s - according to buyers who've been poking around inside their new machines.

The first 65nm consoles? The Halo 3 limited edition, it seems. A poster on the official Xbox forum, JWSpeed, took his apart and found a much smaller heatsink than previous 360s used. He posted the following pics, though there are more on his website.

Of late, Microsoft has taken to fitting much larger, more complex heatsinks, the better to carry heat away from the Xbox 360's 90nm processor, high temperatures having been suggested as the cause for so many failed 360s - which in turn prompted Microsoft to up the 360's warranty to three years at the cost of $1bn.

Only time will tell whether the new, cooler-running model is less prone to the so-called 'red ring of death'.

Beneath the heatsink sits a chip that has only the word 'Canada' to signify that it's different from previous Xbox 360 processors.


It was reported in August about the Rock Band Special Editions for Xbox 360 and Sony PS3. Back then the price on Amazon $199.99. Now the official pricing has been announced and it is only $169.99.

The Rock Band special edition contains the game, a guitar, drum-set and microphone. The shipping date for the Rock Band game is November 23rd.
Rock Band for the Sony PS2 will ship on December 10th for $159.99 says MTV.
MTV should know as they own Harmonix the developer of Rock Band.