SAN FRANCISCO - Sony Computer Entertainment on Wednesday said that slimmed down new versions of its PlayStation 3 (PS3) videogame console will debut in stores in time for the year-end holiday season.
The move comes as the Japanese consumer electronics giant works to shake off its financial woes with help from its Vita handheld gaming device and enticing new content for its PS3 consoles.
A new PS3 with a 250 gigabyte hard drive priced at $249 dollars will be released in North America on September 25 and a version with a 500-gigabyte hard drive will be priced at $299 when it hits the market October 30.
Both versions of the new PS3 will be available in Japan on October 4th at prices of 24,900 Yen and 29,800 Yen respectively.
The 500-gigabyte PS3 will be released in Europe on September 28 with a price tag of 299 Euros, while a version of the console based on Flash memory was set for an exclusive debut there on October 12 for 229 Euros.
Memory capacity for consoles has become increasingly important to users as lifestyles shift to downloading games, films, and other digital content from the Internet.
Sony has been beefing up its PlayStation Network online service for games, movies and music and made free games available for PlayStation Plus members.
More than 4,000 games have become available for download for PS3 since the console was launched in November of 2006, according to Sony.
Sony said that it completely redesigned console innards, reducing volume and weight.