Ars Technica has a good record when it comes to Sony rumors, so its with more than a bit of salt that we take their “mole’s” report that Sony is indeed dropping the 80GB/Motorstorm SKU and replacing it with a new model with either a 120 or 160GB drive and a DualShock 3 controller.
If true, this will be the fifth model of the Playstation 3 since its introduction a little over one year ago. Make that sixth, if the rumors of bringing a white version of the console to North America are true.
There is no confirmation of what hardware revision the new model will have; whether it’s based on the semi-crippled 80GB or the fully-crippled 40GB. Most likely it will carry a full set of USB ports this time around, but will probably still drop the memory card readers. I would bet that the new model is more like the barebones 40GB than the 80, to keep production costs down. Now might be a good time for Sony to increase the hard drive capacity, because even at retail, 120 GB notebook drives aren’t that much more expensive than 80 GB drives.
Including a DualShock 3 also gives it some value. Those of us who have imported a DualShock 3 for around $60 have enjoyed the added immersion (something that really should have been there since launch). The controller truly shines in Burnout Paradise and Motorstorm.