Source: Sony to release 40GB PS3 on Nov. 2

Sources close to Hollywood Reporter say that Sony will release the 40GB PS3 in North America on Nov. 2.

“We’re hearing Nov. 2 (for the U.S.),” one industry source told the Reporter on Monday. A second source affirmed the North American release date says the report.

The news comes shortly after an announcement by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe that the US$399 PS3 model will launch on October 10 for 399 euros.

The 40GB PS3 has two fewer USB ports, no multimemory port, and no backwards compatibility for PS2 games in an effort to reduce its cost. The new model will continue to play Blu-ray movies and support wireless networking, however.


Microsoft bundles two free games for Xbox 360

Microsoft confirmed previous rumours on Monday that two free games will be bundled with holiday Xbox 360 packages.

In addition to recent 360 price drops, both Forza Motorsport 2 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance will be included with Xbox 360 Pro ($350) and Xbox 360 Elite ($450) models by the end of October.

“Xbox 360 is home to the most critically acclaimed next generation games according to, the leading aggregator of game reviews from more than 100 publications,” said Microsoft in a statement.

“The most-respected game reviewers have spoken and according to them, Xbox 360 has more than double the games of the Playstation 3 and Wii receiving a score of 90 or higher.”

Bungie leaves Microsoft to become indie studio

Microsoft and the Halo-maker part ways, but it’s not a bitter break-up.

Microsoft relinquished full ownership of Bungie Studios on October 1 the company announced last week. Effectively immediately, the creators of the highly successful Halo series are now an independent game developer. Microsoft retains a minority stake in the company, however.

“Working with Microsoft was great for us, it allowed us to grow as a team and make the ambitious, blockbuster games we all wanted to work on,” said Bungie founder Jason Jones in a statement. “They will continue to be a great partner.”

Bungie was acquired by Microsoft in 2000 leading up to the launch of the first Xbox in 2001. The developer was largely purchased for its work on the then independent Halo: Combat Evolved.

“We’ll continue to make Xbox 360 games, and we’ll continue to make amazing games for Microsoft Game Studios,” Bungie clarified on its Web site. “In that regard, nothing has changed. All that has changed is that now Bungie Studios is once again, the property of the folks of Bungie Studios.”

Little if any difference will be seen by gamers the studio added.

Microsoft was not immediately available for comment.


— Compiled by staff. All entries written by staff.

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