European market on Oct. 10th, for a price of €399 ($565). The unit sports only two USB ports (instead of four) and does not include the multi-memory ports. And, in a move we absolutely cannot understand, the new model is not backwards compatible with PS2 discs. Seriously.
Since BC is handled by software emulation (in the 80GB model), why is it gone from the 40-gigger? It's not that DVD support has been removed from the Blu-ray drive, as Sony continues to hype DVD movie upscaling. But the official line is, "the new model is no longer backwards compatible with PlayStation 2 titles, reflecting both the reduced emphasis placed on this feature amongst later purchasers of PS3, as well as the availability of a more extensive line-up of PS3 specific titles." Extensive? Don't even get us started...
If BC's on your checklist, you best scoop up a Starter Pack (now €499) "while stocks last."
[Via PS3 Fanboy]