Sony has announced that once the current stock of 60GB PlayStation 3s has sold out, European regions will only have access to the newly introduced 40GB model.

The shock decision comes after Sony Europe announced a price cut for the 60GB model to GBP 349 / EUR 399, which the company said was in response to consumer feedback.

The company also unveiled a 40GB PlayStation 3 due to go on sale this Wednesday, but gave no indication that the 60GB model would be discontinued.

"Our offering in the UK market place for Christmas are the two SKUs announced on Friday, but as the 60GB stock is depleted the GBP 299 40GB SKU will be the only version available going forward," David Wilson, head of PR in the UK, told our chums at

"The 40GB machine represents all the power and potential of PlayStation 3 at a very compelling price. Whilst the feature set of the 40GB is a result of extensive feedback and research, all the 'missing' features should some consumers require them are easily upgraded with USB memory card readers, USB hubs, or bigger external USB or internal HDs.

"The only functionality that is being removed is backwards compatibility - and this is because we believe this less important now than when we launched - as there will be 65 PS3 games available by Christmas. Furthermore we believe we should now be devoting our resources to the future of PlayStation gaming and delivering next generation experiences," Wilson added.

Sony has already phased out the 60GB model in North America, where an 80GB unit sells for USD 599 with a copy of MotorStorm.

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