In a conversation with analysts, Sony predicted a roughly 80/20 distribution for the Premium (60GB – $599)/Core (20GB – $499) SKUs at launch. Although it would seem best to get as many Premiums into homes as possible so as not to fragment the audience, it also means that most people who buy at launch will have to pony up the full $599.
Sony will still have to scale back its launch numbers, though. Originally planning to ship 4 million by the end of the year, actual shipments will need to be metered. Japan will only be receiving 100k on launch day, with another 1.2 million to follow.
At the talk, the company also mentioned its online plans, though mostly in the vague terms we've come to expect. Though Sony will apparently be offering many of the same services as Microsoft's Xbox Live (gamer rankings, all kinds of downloadable content, etc.), the lack of solid information only two months before launch is a little disconcerting.
We do know, however, that Sony believes e-distribution of console games is not yet feasible (and with PS3 titles coming on high-density Blu-Ray discs, you'd be lucky to fit more than a couple on the premium hard drive as it is).