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TGS 2006: 20GB PS3 Price Drop, Gains HDMI Support in Japan!
Kutaragi casually reveals what may be the biggest announcements at the show yet.
By Jared Black 09/21/2006 21:13:54 PST
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PS3 20GB

Shortly after giving his rather mundane keynote address, Sony CEO Ken Kutaragi dropped two bombshell "secrets" (since confirmed by a press release in Japanese on the official site) when questioned by a reporter.

The first is that the 20GB PlayStation 3 will now sell for ¥49,800 in Japan, which is about $425 USD and well under the $499 price currently set for that model here in the States. No price drop has been announced for regions outside of Japan yet, but it's highly likely that other regions will soon follow suit.

Secondly, Kutaragi confirmed that the company has decided to include an HDMI port in the 20GB model after all, due to a rapid rise in its use in homes throughout the world since the original announcement that Sony would omit it at E3. While this has also not been announced for the rest of the world, it's even more likely than a price drop given Sony will probably not want to set up facilities to manufacture yet another variation of the console. In other words, from a cost standpoint it would make more sense for Sony to simply produce the exact same 20GB model, rather than set up a whole separate line or lines just to omit one port.

Assuming both details are indeed confirmed outside of Japan in the days to come, this puts Sony in a much better competitive position worldwide. The base 20GB console would then be as cheap or cheaper than a Xbox 360 + HD-DVD combination (unless Microsoft responds with a price drop of its own), and the inclusion of HDMI means the only real drawbacks to the 20GB model are the smaller disk space (which is still equal to the Xbox 360) and lack of built-in support for Wi-Fi and various memory cards (both of which can be added with an adapter).

Maybe Sony wants to sell this thing after all. 

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