The new version of the console will go on sale November 2, and is expected to retail for $400. The widely-expected move follows the introduction two weeks ago of the same version of the hardware for the European market. The lower-priced system, along with having a smaller hard drive, also lacks a memory card port, offers only two USB ports and will not be compatible with older PlayStation 2 titles.
"We're choosing to focus on the PlayStation 2 consumer with the PlayStation 2, which remains incredibly relevant," said Sony Computer Entertainment of America President Jack Tretton, "and focus on the PlayStation 3 consumer with the new 40-gigabyte model and the great software coming out."
At the same time, Sony also announced it will cut the price on the high-end version of the console, reducing the price on the 80 GB PlayStation 3 to $500 from its current price point of $600. The reduction comes as part of Sony's efforts to boost disappointing sales of its flagship console over the holiday season.