That cheaper and thereby more accessible 40GB PS3 has made a big splash in Japan, apparently, as sales appear to have leaped 300% after Sony released the "entry level" PlayStation 3 last week. The information comes from Texyt and supposed "leaked survey data."
According to the data, one day after Sony introduced the 40GB model on November 11, local PS3 sales surged from an average of 16,000 to nearly 66,000. These numbers were taken from preliminary data from the latest Enterbrain survey, and while the Japanese market survey firm is usually pretty reliable, the statistics aren't confirmed at this time. Even so, it seems clear this surge has placed the PS3 at the top of the pecking order for the first time…well, ever. Sony finally managed to top the Nintendo Wii, which has routinely sold about 35,000/week in Japan, and that's quite the momentous occasion. Of course, now we have to see if the PS3 can maintain this newly found momentum throughout the holiday season.
While the new console lacks some of the features of the 80GB model, it's $100 cheaper and comes in a snazzy Ceramic White color. See, that's what really matters to a lot of gamers; it's cheaper, and it's pretty. Win-win!