The Telegraph reports that Sony have placed orders for enough console components to double the production of PS3’s over the next three months. This move leads us to think that Sony are expecting a massive increase in demand which could only be caused by the introduction of a Slim version of the PS3 games console.

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Retailer Amazon.com is showing a release date for the long awaited driving sim Gran Turismo 5. Their site is stating a 29 December release, which seem a little odd to us being the week after Christmas and after the years biggest sales period. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see but at least it’s looking a little closer than sometime next year.

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According to engadget, Sony are due to release a Red and Blue edition of their DualShock 3 controller in the US this coming October. This will complement the existing Black and Silver DS3′s already available. There is no word on whether these will be available in Europe.

red and blue dualshock 3 ps3 controller

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Downloadable game Battlefield 1943 has seen at least 600,000 downloads on Sony’s PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live since launch just over two weeks ago. It was also the fastest selling first day and first week download-only game. It looks like these results may make other developers sit up and take note.

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June’s NPD hardware sales figures are out and they reveal that the PlayStation 3 sold just over 164,000 consoles with the Xbox 360 selling 240,600 units in the same period. The Wii was again the leader with 361,000 sales.

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The Sony corporation are finding themselves with a large problem in the form of their PlayStation 3 console.

Internal Problems
It appears that they still can’t make money based on the consoles current price and as a result, despite intense pressure, are refusing to drop the price further. The PS3 has been at its current retail price for such a long time that it now looks very expensive, even the long-standing argument that you get a ‘free’ Blu-ray player included with the PS3 no longer washes, especially when a stand-alone Blu-ray player can be had for around £120 or less. Sure you get integrated wireless connectivity and free online gaming with the PS3, but not everybody wants these, nor are they essential to the PS3 gaming experience. As well as the perceived lack of value that the PS3 provides, the persistent rumours of a impending price reduction and/or a slim version are sure to keep potential buyers from making a purchase any time soon. Sony therefore has a dilemma. Reduce the price to enable them to keep existing and attract new customers to the Sony brand but loose money in the process, or leave the price alone, loose a minimum amount on each unit but risk loosing customers to main rival Microsoft and their Xbox 360 console. From a financial perspective at least they will sell fewer units with the latter options and therefore loose less money, although at the detriment to long term strategy due to the erosion of the PlayStation user base, something that needs to be avoided in the competitive games console world.

Microsoft Problems
Despite the PS3′s current woes, I think the biggest problem for Sony is yet to come. I think this problem will come from Microsoft in the form of a new Xbox console much sooner than anyone is expecting. Such a product, released as a successor to the Xbox 360, would surely be the worst possible news for Sony. The hype of a new console and the demand that this creates would not only steal buyers away from Sony but it would cement the current generation of Xbox users firmly in the Microsoft camp, especially if full backwards compatibility is included. Judging by the furore over the lack of PS3 backward compatibility it would surely be crazy to overlook this feature. A further knock on effect of a new Xbox would be that developers may, in light of falling hardware (and hence software sales), drop the Sony platform altogether to concentrate on the new Microsoft console. That it is a well-known fact that the PS3 is hard to write software for will only make dropping support for it more likely. This is only my opinion, but a new Microsoft console brought to market in the next 18 months would be perfect timing for Microsoft and could cause irreparable damage to Sony’s gaming division. It could even spell the end for the PlayStation series of gaming machines and this is something that any consumer should not want to see.

Final Thoughts
Maybe the rumoured Slim PS3 will become a reality and be used as a tool to counteract a possible attack from Microsoft? Sony’s current stance of doing nothing certainly won’t work for much longer. Monopolies are no good for anyone, except the company with the monopoly. Windows operating system anyone?

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Is Sony throwing free games at the consumer instead of a price cut? US retailer Best Buy is to release a special PS3 bundle next Sunday which contains the PS3 80GB console, Killzone 2 and Metal Gear Solid 4 for the same price as the console on its own. Bad news for anyone who bought a PS3 recently although with a slim version rumoured to be on the way we’re not sure if this is the best deal going. You might be better to wait as your big fat PS3 value’s would plummet once the new one arrives.

Rumours are suggesting that the PlayStation 3 might get two additional downloadable content packages for Grand Theft Auto IV, PS3 Informer are reporting that one of the new packs will be named Blood and a Four Leaf Clover and will focus on the Irish family Nico helped in the first episode. It will also be available on the Xbox 360. There was no news on the other pack but this could be The Lost and the Damned Xbox 360 exclusive which was previously reported as coming to the PS3 when Mcrosoft’s exclusivity deal runs out later this year.

More news as we get it.

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Reports are surfacing that Sony has filed a patent to cover an ‘Emotion Engine Emulation system’ that is capable of being used with the PS3’s Cell Processor.

The Emotion Engine was the name given to the chip in the original 60GB PS3’s that allowed it to become backwards compatible with the previous generation PS2 games. This technology was subsequently removed from later versions of the console in the name of cost cutting.

It looks as though Sony has found a cheaper way of incorporating the technology into the PS3 though some sort of software emulation. Maybe we’ll see it appear soon, possible in the much rumoured slim PS3 sometime later this year?

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The first ever Metal Gear Solid game, first released to the gaming world in 1998, is now available for download on the North American PSN today for the princely sum of $9.99 USD. Get your retro fix in now without the need for dusting off your PlayStation One!

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