Dave Karraker of Sony Computer Entertainment of America has contacted Joystiq to give us clarification on the story that would have made us believe Sony had truly lost its mind once and for all. The fun never ends, does it?
Karraker says the quotes from David Reeves are not accurate. He explains that if they had lowered the price in Europe, that territory would have run out of their current inventory by the end of July. He says in a statement, "As announced this week, SCEA's product offering in North America consists of a 80GB PS3 available in August at $599 and a 60GB PS3 available now for $499. We have will have ample supplies of both models to meet the needs of our consumers for the foreseeable future."
Update 1: There are some serious conflicting reports going on at the moment. We're working on answers while still trying to cover E3 the best we can.
Update 2: As you may have seen in this clip about 1:45 in, Kaz Hirai says "The $499 price adjustment that we did for the 60 GB version for the American market, we're no longer in production for that product. So once that product is gone from the retailers shelves, then we're back to the $599 SKU only, so it's not like we have a two price strategy here in the U.S. market, which we found early on consumers react most to just having one SKU as opposed to two." So, we're attempting to get some clarification. You'll know when we do.
Update 3: According to Karraker, "The 60GB PS3 will be available in North America for $499 until supplies of that unit are depleted. We have ample inventory to meet the immediate needs of consumers in this territory for several months to come. We won't be making any further announcements regarding our hardware offerings in the North America at this time." In our opinion, it's a touch disingenuous for Sony to just now be bringing this information to light, even though Karraker goes on to insist that this is not a bait-and-switch. If that's the truth, why make it seem like the company was returning to a two-SKU strategy when that was clearly just temporary?
Update 4: We got this clarified statement from Karraker, who said "The 60GB PS3 will be available in North America for $499 until supplies of that unit are depleted. We have ample inventory to meet the immediate needs of consumers in this territory for several months to come. We won't be making any further announcements regarding our PS3 model hardware strategy in North America until the 60GB model is exhausted and market conditions are evaluated."