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Sony shipping standalone 320GB PS3

Hardware previously only available with Move pack

Sony has shipped standalone 320GB PlayStation 3s to retailers in the US, a hardware SKU which was previously only available with a Move starter pack. No date was given for a European release of the machine.

The new unit is retailing at $349.99 (£219.58) and has the largest storage capacity of any of the PlayStation 3 SKUs. The 320GB unit is $50 more than a standalone $160GB machine, but only $50 less than a 320GB machine with a Move starter kit and Sports Champions.

"The digital distribution trend is undeniably gaining momentum, and we here at PlayStation are committed to providing you with the hardware you need to support as much downloadable media as possible," wrote Kim Nguyen on the official PlayStation blog.

"With popular downloadable PlayStation Move games like Tumble already out and PSN exclusives like echochrome ii, Beat Sketcher, PAIN, and Dead Nation on the horizon, there are more options for downloadable content now than ever."

Sony has just published its quarterly financial report, highlighting falling hardware costs as a significant factor in the PlayStation division's increased profits.

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Dan Pearson