UPDATE – Sony has confirmed the 80GB PS3 will hit the UK on August 27th. It will cost £299, the same as the existing 40GB version, which Sony insists won't receive a price cut and will merely be phased-out. We do wonder who would buy a 40GB model over the next month, though...
Sony has launched a new 80GB version of the PS3 at the E3 Expo in California, and is introducing a TV and movie download service for American PS3 and PSP owners. The 80GB model will sell for $399 Stateside, and will offer all the features and functionality of the current 40GB model but with double the storage capacity for the same price.
As with the current model, the new one will have a Blu-ray player, HDMI output, an integrated wi-fi connection, and Sony's Cell Broadband Engine.
Sony America has introduced a new video download service on the PlayStation Store for PS3 and PSP systems in the US. The new video service, available now, allows US consumers to download full-length TV shows and movies to both a PS3 and PSP for rental or purchase.
More after the break
Hollywood studios supporting the service include 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate Entertainment, MGM Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Warner Bros.
At launch there will be 300 films and more than 1200 TV shows available, many in both standard- and high-definition. Films available will include 3:10 to Yuma, Rocky, Cloverfield, Spider-Man and 10,000 B.C.
Sony also announced at E3 that Gran Turismo TV will be available from August 1st. GT TV offers downloadable TV shows about cars via Gran Tursimo 5 Prologue. There will be some free content, as well as pay-per-view shows such as Top Gear. Prices are to be confirmed.
Other announcements at E3 include a Ratchet and Clank Size Matters PSP Enertainment pack for $199.99, including a blockbuster movie on USD (Universal media Disc), and a new PS2 family entertainment bundle.
As for when we'll get any of these upgrades here in the UK, a spokesman for Sony UK told whathifi.com this morning: "The announcement made at E3 was specific to the US only.... I'm trying to find out more details about any UK/European initiatives."
Watch this space!