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Sony Japan has announced that its ultra-slim, “charcoal black” PlayStation 3 console will become that little bit cheaper at the end of this month, following the arrival of a new SKU.

Currently retailing for 30,837 yen (US$300), the price of the 500GB slim PlayStation 3 will be dropped to 28,058 yen, or $273, as of August 28.

The console will look the same as ever on the outside, but has likely had a couple of cost-cutting tweaks under the hood since it now sports the new model number of CECH-4300C and Sony has announced that older models will be discontinued. This new price point will position the PS3 slim in between the basic and premium models of Nintendo’s competing Wii U console and make it roughly $135 cheaper than the newer PlayStation 4.

The discount will no doubt come as good news to gamers on a budget or those who were waiting until now to pick up a PlayStation 3 to experience any exclusive titles that they missed last generation, but I can’t help feeling that Sony could afford to be a little more generous with its pricing here. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my PS3 and had some of the best moments of my gaming career on it (Journey, Uncharted, The Last of Us anyone?), but for a console whose basic hardware set is now eight years old and could now be outperformed by even low-end gaming laptops, $273 for a last-gen console seems a bit steep.

There again, with PlayStation 4 sales currently so sluggish in Japan, it’s perhaps no wonder Sony isn’t slashing the PS3’s price too much…

Source: Sony Japan via Siliconera