The company also cut the price of its highest-capacity model by about 17 percent.
The new version of the PlayStation 3 will come with a
The price of the 80GB version will be cut to $500 from $600.
The 40GB model has already made its debut in Europe and Japan, and was widely expected to come to the United States ahead of
"I think the educational curve is starting to be broached with the general consumer," Tretton told Reuters in an interview, when asked about his
Sales of the PS3, which has a built-in Blu-ray drive for playing high-definition DVDs,
Sony had previously offered a 20GB model but stopped making it earlier this year and cut the price to clear out inventory after finding most customers were opting for higher-capacity versions.
For the new 40GB PS3, Sony has removed its ability to play games for the predecessor PlayStation 2, which is still selling strong despite its aging technology.
"We're choosing to focus on the PlayStation 2 consumer with the PlayStation 2, which remains incredibly relevant, and focus on the PlayStation 3 consumer with the new 40-gigabyte model and the great software coming out," Tretton said.
"Backward compatibility is a nice secondary consideration, but it's far from the number one priority."