If news of an upgraded PSP wasn't enough for you, how about a new PS3 bundle? Sony has announced a 160GB PS3 that will hit stores in November for $500. The limited-edition system will also include the rumble-ized DualShock 3 controller and two games: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and (via a voucher for the PlayStation Store) Pain. Sony was less specific on other details, but the presence of just two USB ports on the spec sheet would seem to indicate that this is basically a "Core" model with a bigger hard drive--which means no built-in flash card reader, and no backward compatibility with PS2 games.
The addition of the 160GB model comes as the 40GB Core PS3 is being replaced by an 80GB Core model--meaning anyone buying the entry-level PS3 will soon be getting twice the capacity for their $400. Meanwhile, the limited-edition 80GB Metal Gear Solid 4 PS3 bundle that's been available for the past couple of months is disappearing from retail shelves as well. Sony reps had told CNET previously that the MGS4 bundle was going to have a short lifespan and, indeed, Joystiq reports that they'll soon no longer be available from the nation's largest retailer. That's too bad, because it looks like that may be the last model to offer four (rather than two) USB ports, the flash card reader, and--more importantly--limited compatibility with older PS2 titles.
Now, we're of the school of "you can never have too much storage," so a bigger hard drive is always better--especially with the addition of downloadable movies to the PS3's bag of tricks. But call us old-fashioned: we still like having PS2 compatibility on board--it's always nice to be able to take classics like God of War, Beyond Good and Evil, and Shadow of the Colossus out for a nostalgic spin. Our advice: try to hunt down one of those few remaining 80GB MSG4 bundles (or, even better, find an original 60GB model on eBay), and--if you find yourself needing more space at some point--drop in your own hard drive upgrade. Pretty much any standard 2.5-inch laptop hard drive will do the job, and the operation is relatively quick and painless.
So, what do you guys think: Are you holding out for the 160GB PS3? Does backward compatibility matter to you? Or are you prefer the Xbox 360 or Wii?
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