Sony has declined to comment on suggestions from retailers that the 80GB PS3 will launch in Europe this Friday - not 27th August as we had previously been told.
The evidence is fairly compelling: Amazon UK, Play.com, GAME and GameStation all list 22nd August as the release date.
The 80GB PlayStation 3, as confirmed by Sony Europe boss David Reeves during E3, will replace the existing 40GB unit.
Unfortunately Europe, unlike the US, will not get a price cut to help clear 40GB stock; apparently we have so little hardware in reserve that the old console will be sold out by the time the 80GB tramples into the market.
The 80GB PlayStation 3 costs GBP 299 / EUR 399 and has exactly the same functionality as the 40GB model; there is no sneaky backwards compatibility or anything like that.
Sony also plans various promotional bundles starting from the middle of September through to December to help shift the console.