White is the New Black for Sony's Updated PS3

PS3 Slim White

Microsoft just flipped its bevel-edged, cream-colored Xbox 360 to piano black, and now Sony's shifting its matte-sable slimline PS3 into the ivory zone.

Sony says it'll launch a 160GB as well as a 320GB PS3, but the company's only offering the new white finish if you buy the 160GB model for 29,980 yen ($342). An alternative 320GB model will be available for 34,980 yen ($399) in the traditional matte black only. The new models will replace the current 120GB and 250GB versions.

You'll have to wait if you're in the US, but if you're lucky enough to reside in the Land of the Rising Sun, you can get your hands on Sony's new snow-white PS3 later this month (July 29). Sony won't say when--or if--the new model would show up internationally, vaguely referencing "market demand" as the determining factor.

The new white version will ship with a color-matched DualShock 3 controller and console stand. It still won't include an HDMI cable, though you can pick up a six-footer for between $5 and $10 online. It isn't clear (yet) if anything's new under the hood, in terms of chipset revisions, power consumption, or thermal management.

How do both systems stack up to Microsoft's Xbox 360? Pricing's a guess, since converting yen to dollars can be misleading. If Sony brought the 160GB out here for $342, they'd be selling at near the current $350 250GB model's price point. Chances are they'd either sell it for $300, replacing the 120GB model, or slap a "color tax" price tag on the white version.

If they offered a 320GB version for the current 250GB model's $350 price tag, they'd be about the same price as Microsoft's new Xbox 360 ($383 in my rough gaming-only comparison) with a 70GB edge.

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