Sony Corp. has discontinued the 20-gigabyte PlayStation 3 game console so it can focus on a more popular — and expensive — model that has a bigger hard drive.
Since the launch of the PlayStation 3 in November, consumers have been buying the 60-gigabyte model 10 to 1 over the cheaper unit, said Dave Karraker, spokesman for Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.
Both models have much of the same hardware inside, but the 60-gigabyte console, which costs $600, has built-in wireless support and slots for memory sticks and other storage media.
Retailers still have several thousand 20-gigabyte models on store shelves, Karraker said Thursday. The 20-gigabyte consoles will continue to have a suggested retail price of $500 until supplies run out.
"Better to put resources toward the ones that retailers want," Karraker said.
Severe production shortfalls in the months after the PlayStation 3 debuted meant that thousands of consumers had to wait in long lines and still couldn't buy a console.
On eBay and other auction sites, bidders were willing to pay several times the suggested retail prices so they could have consoles for the holidays.