The rumors of the impending arrival of a new PlayStation 3 are growing more fierce as new hints seem to turn up almost daily in the blogsphere. The latest discovery to pop up is what appears to be an internal document from 7-Eleven--which sells games in Japan--that suggests Sony may be about to discontinue the 80GB PS3 in its home country.
According to a report by a Japanese blog that Kotaku turned into English, 7-Eleven will no longer be taking "pre-orders" for black, white and silver 80GB PS3 after Sunday, August 9. (The document this information is based on is referred to as a "notice").
Kotaku says the reason listed is "For the manufacturer" -- or at the maker's request" and that "the notice also notes that all in-store displays for the 80GB model are to be taken down."
Since the 160GB PS3 isn't sold in Japan and all the other PS3 models (20GB, 40GB, 60GB) are discontinued, the speculation is that indeed something new is coming, quite possibly the rumored PS3 Slim.
Also fueling the fire is a separate report yesterday from Taiwan's DigiTimes, which is at the center of a lot of these rumor stories, that Sony has recently "placed significant orders for key Sony PS3 components" from local manufacturers that were double the amount it usually orders.
With all this talk of a new PS3, the big question remains whether Sony will drop the price on the entry-level model of the console to $299 to spur demand. The most likely answer remains yes.