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Sony to launch 80GB PlayStation 3

80GB PS3 to hit market in June

Sony plans to launch an 80GB version of its PlayStation 3 console in June, Sony announced today.

The new PlayStation 3 model will have an 80GB hard disk drive. The 80GB PS3 will go on sale first in South Korea when Sony kicks off PlayStation 3 sales there on 16 June. It will cost 518,000 won (around £290).

The PlayStation 3 launched in late 2006 in the US and Japan. It usually comes with a 60GB hard disk drive. In some countries Sony offers a second version with a 20GB drive. However, sales are being discontinued in favour of the higher capacity model, which has sold considerably better. The 20GB PlayStation 3 is not available in the UK, but Sony has hinted that the 80GB model could appear in markets other than South Korea.

"At this time there are no concrete plans [to sell the model in other markets]. However, it could be an option to introduce it in other regions but it needs to be decided by each region," said Sony spokesman Satoshi Fukuoka, speaking in Tokyo today.

The 80GB PS3 otherwise has a similar specification to the existing PlayStation 3 model with a 60GB drive, he said.

The company decided to put a higher capacity hard disk drive in the model sold in South Korea because of the nation's pervasive broadband internet network, said Fukuoka. Sony is keen to see the PlayStation 3 used for entertainment beyond games and South Koreans are already used to a wide variety of online multimedia.

News that Sony was planning an 80GB model of the console first came in a US regulatory filing with the Federal Communications Commission in March. At the time the company declined to comment on product plans.

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