Buy a cheap PS3 while you can -- they're almost gone!

Sony says that you can now buy a $600 Playstation 3. By the way, the company's $500 models will be gone by fall.

Published August 6, 2007 11:53PM (EDT)

Sony put out a press release today touting the availability of its new 80GB Playstation 3 -- the $599 model that the company announced last month is now on sale. Sony also says that since the price reduction of its 60GB model from $599 to the $499, the PS3 has seen a 113 percent increase in sales, and, "based on current consumer demand," supplies of the low-priced version will run out sometime in the fall.

Last month, Sony was cagey about the fact that it would be discontinuing the 60GB version, which, in addition to its low price, has the added benefit of dedicated hardware to play Playstation 2 games. (The 80GB model, like the PS3s Sony sells in Europe, plays PS2 games through an allegedly slow "software emulation" engine.)

Now, though, the company appears to be using the low price as a cudgel to get people into stores. Come Christmastime, the only PS3 on the market will cost $600. So better get one now!

There's something else odd in the release. Sony says of the 80GB model: "With the expanded disk capacity and dynamic system upgrades, we have effectively created a system that is 'future-proof', providing consumers an exceptional entertainment value that will stand the test of time."

Check that out -- the 80GB PS3 is "future proof"! Really? Come on, Sony: Though every gamer understands the value of live upgrades and lots of hard disk space, nobody's going to mistake those for hedges against tomorrow's innovations.

Tell us we'll be able to play your system for a long time to come. Don't try to fool us into thinking we'll never have to buy another system again.

By Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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