After it was revealed last week that the 80GB PS3 would replace the 60GB PS3 when "retail stock is exhausted," we were all starting to wonder if/when the newest model would drop in price. Everybody knows by now the 60GB version dropped to $499 last week, but the newest PS3 will retail for $599…at first, anyway.

Sony has said they'll "reevaluate the market" after the 60GB is gone and the 80GB is firmly in place, but industry analyst Michael Pachter believes the latter will drop in price to $499 when the 60GB PS3 stock is depleted. Obviously, the $599 tag will continue so long as that copy of Motorstorm comes with the system, but Pachter thinks the standalone console will be $499.

"In our view, the Sony entry level price of USD 499 is here to stay," he said. "We believe that there are presently 2 – 3 million 60GB PS3s produced and not yet sold, and expect the entire supply to be diverted to the US to honour the new lower price point. Once these units are sold through, we expect the company to lower the price of its 80GB model to USD 499 on a standalone basis." (source: GamesIndustry.biz)

But it doesn't end there. Pachter also foresees another price cut for the 80GB PS3 in early 2008, which is bound to get people talking. Just how soon will Sony present their next-gen console at the even more agreeable price point of $399…?

"We expect the USD 499 price cut to be maintained until early next year, when the 80GB model will likely be cut again to USD 399," he said.

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