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Sony Dumps Entry PS3

San Diego — Sony Computer Entertainment revealed Wednesday that it has dropped the entry-level 20GB PlayStation3 console in North America to concentrate on the more popular 60GB version.

The unit, which carried a $499 entry price, launched last fall, but offered significantly fewer feature capabilities than the $599 60GB step-up version. Key omissions included HDMI output, 1,080p HD video support and built-in Wi-Fi networking.

In a statement, Sony said more than 90 percent of demand has been for the $599 version.

“Due to the overwhelming demand for the 60GB model from both retailers and consumers, we have ceased offering the 20GB model here in North America,” Sony spokesman Dave Karraker said in a statement. “In addition to the larger internal hard drive, the 60GB PlayStation3 features added storage media slots and built-in Wi-Fi not found in the 20GB system. Based on retailer and customer feedback, we have decided to focus our current efforts on the more popular 60GB model.”

Sony said it will continue to support the model and future PS3 software will continue to be playable on the device. Sony will continue to sell the unit in Japan.

“There is a very limited inventory of the 20GB out there, which will still be sold at $499 until the supply is depleted,” Karraker said.