With the European 40GB PlayStation 3 finally out in the open, Sony execs just can't stop talking about it. According to Ray Maguire, SCE UK managing director, Sony's newest console is part of "a very carefully thought-out plan."

While acknowledging that other factors like decreasing production costs, industry pressure and a need to increase its install base contributed, Maguire said Sony has been considering this model since the PlayStation 3 launched.

Of course, the main complaint against the PlayStation 3 has always been its price, but Maguire thinks the lower-priced 40GB model will appease the haters. "If the product was too expensive, of course they're going to feel 'anti,' but now I imagine there will be some changing of attitudes," he told MCV. It's true, the 40GB model's price is much closer to the Xbox 360's, only with a lot more features. However, only time will tell if the move will help Sony recapture the lead in the console wars.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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