In a press release issued tonight, Sony has confirmed that the 60GB PlayStation 3 has received a $100 dollar price drop, making for a retail price of $499 and is effective as of now. Taking its place at the $599 dollar price point is a new (to America anyway) 80GB model. The new model, however, will not be available in stores until this August, though no specific date was mentioned. The 80GB model will also come packed with the off-road racer, Motorstorm.

This news comes after a weekend of drama, all stemming from a leaked Circuit City ad. While we originally suspected that the 80GB model, due to the ease of modification, would remain a Korean exclusive, Sony has given everyone the swerve. This early of a price drop comes as a shock, however, as it wasn't terribly long ago that Sony was telling folks to get a second job in order to afford one. We expect to hear more about how this price drop and new model plays into Sony's master plan this week at E3.

In the US, the PlayStation 3 spent 230 days at its initial price.

[Update - The meaty part of the press release has been pasted after the break. Enjoy!]



SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA INTRODUCES NEW 80GB PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3TM); ANNOUNCES NEW PRICE ON CURRENT 60GB MODEL 80GB System Designed for Today's Connected Gamer, 60GB Price Now $499

FOSTER CITY, Calif., July 9, 2007 – Sony Computer Entertainment America(SCEA), Inc. today announced a new 80GB model of its PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3TM) computer entertainment system. Beginning in August, the new PS3 model will be available in North America for a suggested retail price of $599/$659 CND and will be sold with the popular online-enabled racing game MotorStormTM. In conjunction with this news, the company also announced that effective immediately, the current 60GB PS3 model will be available in North America for$499/$549 CND, or $100 below the original launch price.

By featuring an expanded hard disk drive (HDD), the new 80GB PS3 is designed to appeal to the online gaming and entertainment enthusiast, providing ample storage space to download more games and other entertainment content from PLAYSTATION®Network. There are currently more than 60 playable games and game-related downloads available through PLAYSTATION®Store, with expanded entertainment content coming soon. The new model features the million-selling game MotorStorm in the box, allowing up to 12 players to play online at one time, hitting the dirt in this visually-arresting, fast-paced racing title.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.