During Sony's E3 press conference, CEO Jack Tretton said that the company would make the 80GB PlayStation 3 SKU its primary focus going forward.
This will be the fifth PS3 SKU in North America. The 20GB and 60GB launch models have both been discontinued in favour of the 40GB and 80GB models introduced last year.
Starting in September, Sony will sell an 80GB console - with the same functionality as the current 40GB model - for USD 399, giving users twice the storage capacity for the same price as the current 40GB.
However, there is a cost which might be overlooked: the loss of backwards compatibility with PS2 titles.
The 80GB model is currently the only US PlayStation 3 console to offer backwards compatibility, thanks to software emulation. As Tretton announced that the cheaper 80GB console will have the same functionality as the current 40GB system, Sony is effectively abandoning backwards compatibility.
Sony has continued to deny rumours that it will be offering PS2 games for download via the PlayStation Store.