Sony Computer Entertainment America on Thursday announced that a new 250GB variation of the PlayStation 3 Slim will be available beginning November 3 for $349.99. The PS3 hardware will otherwise remain the same as the 120GB flavor of the Slim, which costs $50 less. The console maker will also continue to sell the physically larger, previous model of the PS3 which comes with either an 80GB or 160GB hard drive.
The extra 130GB of storage in the 250GB model gives PS3 owners more room for downloaded movies, game installs/saves, music, and photos. According to Sony, "more than 600 million pieces of content have been downloaded from [the] PlayStation Network as of September 2009." (Note: "content" could be anything from 5MB themes to HD movies which can take up gigabytes of storage.) For most though, the extra storage will keep users from having to offload these files onto external drives when they run out of space, or manually replace the included hard drive with something bigger.
The increase should not be a surprise to most gamers though. It's coming just in time for the holiday season where console makers stand to sell more hardware than at any other time of year. Also, at the Tokyo Game Show last month, the company announced a special 250GB version of the console to coincide with the release of Final Fantasy XIII. Shortly thereafter it said Australia would be getting a 250GB variation of its own. There had also been purportedly leaked shots of holiday bundles acquired by blog Engadget, depicting 250GB versions of the consoles with games like Uncharted 2, which was just released this week.