20GB PS3 to be discontinued

60GB version more popular.

SCEA has announced that the 20GB version of PlayStation 3 is to be discontinued in North America after consumers overwhelmingly favoured the 60GB model, GamesIndustry.biz reports.

An official statement reads, "At launch, we offered two separate models of PlayStation 3 to meet the diverse needs and interests of our PlayStation fan base. Initial retail demand in North America was upwards of 90 per cent in favor of the 60GB SKU, so we manufactured and shipped-in accordingly.

"Due to the overwhelming demand for the 60GB model from both retailers and consumers, we have ceased offering the 20GB model here in North America."

SCEA spokesperson Dave Karraker confirmed that the decision to stop selling the 20GB PS3 is "based purely on consumer and retailer demand" - adding that the lower-spec model is being outsold by the 60GB model "10 to 1". According to Karraker, this illustrates that "consumers are willing to pay more for advanced technology in a gaming console".

There are still "very limited" stocks of the 20GB PS3, and these will continue to be sold at the official price of USD 499 until depleted.

Karraker said those who own a lower-spec machine will continue to be "100 per cent supported with software and services, since all PS3s have the same basic architecture". Unlike all Xbox 360s, he added - "If [Microsoft] were to stop selling their Core system, [it] would allow publishers to actually use their hard drive for gaming purposes, leaving the Core user out in the cold."

The news comes just days after it emerged that several US retailers - including SonyStyle - were no longer selling the 20GB PlayStation 3. The 60GB model is the only one currently available in Europe, and it now looks extremely unlikely that the lower-spec model will ever go on sale in the region.

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