If you're keeping score at home, since its launch, Sony has introduced four different PS3s: the original 60GB and 20GB, the 80GB, and now the 40GB.
Due out in the UK this week is that 40GB PS3 (299 pounds) which will eventually become the only PS3 available in the UK after retailers sell through the 60GB version.
The controversy surrounding all of this is that the new 40GB version does not have any PS2 backwards compatibility, a large selling point of the original PS3s.
This is odd, because after the first round of PS3s which actually did have the PS2 "Emotion Engine" chip inside of them, the ones that followed used software emulation for backwards compatibility, meaning that there is no reason why the 40GB couldn't also be backwards compatible.
Adding some good ol' US fuel to the fire is a rumor that the 40GB PS3 ($399, rumored) will also make its debut in the US, perhaps in early November. Whether it is slated to become the only PS3 on shelves is yet to be seen, but that seems to be the strategy.
The summary: Sony just didn't know what the consumer wanted when they launched the PS3 and simply wouldn't accept that even the hardcore gamer has a price ceiling. Four PS3s later, I think that Sony has what consumers want, a $399 blu-ray playing PS3. Although, I still don't get the lack of backwards compatibility, particularly because the PS3 game lineup is anemic at best.