Sony Mum on Rumored Larger PS3 Drive

The gaming world is awash with rumors that Sony may consider bumping up the size of the hard disk drive in its PlayStation 3 (PS3) gaming consoles. The conjecture, now brewing for several weeks, reached a crescendo Tuesday following reports that a Sony spokesperson had addressed the rumor.

Users who store many games and other content on the PS3 may be underserved with a 20 or even 60 GB hard drive, Satoshi Fukuoka, Sony Computer Entertainment spokesperson, told Reuters. Any possible changes to the PS3, noted Fukuoka, would not necessarily be limited to its hard drive capacity. While the console’s Cell architecture, Blu-ray drive and network capability are not likely to change, other augmentations are open.

No Certain Plans

Sony, however, currently has no such official plans, according to Dave Karraker, senior director of corporate communications at Sony Computer Entertainment America.

“We are constantly looking at new technologies, services and configurations to meet the evolving needs of our PlayStation gamers, but at this time we have no announcement regarding any changes in our PS3 product offering in North America,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Following the Path

If Sony were considering a boost in the PS3’s hard drive, the company would have two motivating factors, Brian O’Rourke, principal analyst at InStat, told TechNewsWorld.

The first factor, he said, is keeping up with the Joneses — or in this instance Microsoft. The company recently announced a bigger-disk version of its Xbox 360 console.

Boosting the PS3’s storage capacity would also fall in line with Sony’s ultimate goal of installing it firmly in the living room not just as a gaming station but as an entertainment center.

“First, it is an attempt to keep up with what Microsoft is doing with the Xbox,” O’Rourke explained.

“Second, both Sony and Microsoft are positioning their boxes as living room entertainment centers, not just game machines,” he continued. “So, the boxes have to be able to store music, TV shows and movies as well as download games.

“All of this takes a large amount of storage,” O’Rourke stated. “Hence, the new, bigger hard drive.”

80 GB Aspirations?

The rumors about an augmented hard disk started at the end of March after gaming blog “Kotaku” published a request Sony submitted earlier in the month to the Federal Communications Commission for a “Class II permissive change” to the commission’s original September 2006 approval of the PS3. The document cites changes in the console’s Bluetooth module with the addition of “the Reverse F antenna” and goes on to state “The model: CECHE01 is to be added by the difference of the capacity hard disk drive … CECHE01 (Addition Model): 80 GB Hard Disk.”

Earlier, Microsoft announced its plan to launch the Xbox 360 Elite with a 120 GB hard drive.

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