Retailers have been dropping the 20GB PS3 model one after the other; the system was also never offered in any markets outside of North America and Japan. Now the possibility of the lower-priced model hitting other markets is next to nothing: Sony has discontinuedit altogether. Davd Karraker had this to say in a statement on the matter:
At launch, we offered two separate models of PlayStation 3 to meet the diverse needs and interests of our PlayStation fan base. Initial retail demand in North America was upwards of ninety percent in favor of the 60GB SKU, so we manufactured and shipped-in accordingly. Due to the overwhelming demand for the 60GB model from both retailers and consumers, we have ceased offering the 20GB model here in North America. In addition to the larger internal hard drive, the 60GB PlayStation 3 features added storage media slots and built-in Wi-Fi not found in the 20GB system. Based on retailer and consumer feedback, we have decided to focus our current efforts on the more popular 60GB model.
That sounds well and good, but the improved profit margin on the 60GB model also must have helped them make the decision. You can probably still find the cheaper system on store shelves, and eBay is an option as well. Soon, though, the price of entry for PS3 ownership will be $600. With the Wii selling in such impressive numbers at $250 and Microsoft offering more functionsin their newly introduced $480 model while also moving towards a position where they can afford a price drop, this could put the pressure on Sony to do the same. The majority of their sales were customers buying the 60GB unit, but this takes away even the talking point of a lower-priced model.
Does this influence your buying decision? If the 20GB model was purely a bullet point, does it hurt Sony to stop supplying the hardware to store shelves?