Sony Corp. announced a revised PlayStation 3 console Monday with a bigger hard drive for storing downloaded content such as video games and high-definition movies.
The new $599 PS3 increases the system's storage capacity from 60 to 80 gigabytes and also includes a retail copy of the online racing title ``MotorStorm,'' a company spokesman said.
Starting Monday, the current 60 gigabyte model will cost $499 _ a $100 price drop.
The larger capacity machine won't be available in the United States and Canada until August.
It plays into the company's upcoming strategy of eventually offering downloaded high-definition movies, video games, movie trailers and demos, Sony spokesman David Karraker said.
Karraker said further details on high-def movies for download would be released at a later date.
The announcement comes two days before the E3 Media & Business Summit in Santa Monica, Calif., where dozens of industry heavyweights including Sony rivals Microsoft Corp. and Nintendo Co. are expected to show off their latest games and related products.
In April, Microsoft began selling a version of its Xbox 360 with a 120-gigabyte hard drive and a souped up high-definition video connection. Called Xbox 360 Elite, the black-colored system sells for $479.99.
Xbox gamers who already own the $399.99 20-gigabyte model can buy a snap-on 120-gigabyte hard drive for $179.99.
Karraker said Sony would use the E3 show to focus on two areas: ways to increase the number of consumers who own PS3s and other products such as the PlayStation Portable handheld system, and expanding the system's library of available games.
He said Sony would be releasing 100 new video games during the current fiscal year, including 15 titles that are exclusive to the PS3 such as the hack-and-slash action title ``Heavenly Sword.''
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