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Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. has filed a document with Federal Communication Commission informing the regulatory organization about a possible new PlayStation 3 model that features hard disk drive with higher capacity. Despite of the application, Sony claims it does not mean that the launch of the slightly improved game console is imminent.

On March 2, Sony filed an FCC “Class II Permissive Change” application concerning a change of the Bluetooth module used in the PlayStation 3 game console and also mentioned in the document the addition of the PS3 with 80GB hard disk drive (HDD). The upgrade from 60GB hard drive to 80GB hard drive is hardly a reason for a launch of a new version of the console, it is much more likely that Sony will quietly start to ship 80GB PS3 versions instead of consoles with 60GB HDDs. Nevertheless, representatives for the electronics giant were quick to deny the possibility of a new gaming machine.

“As mentioned when we made the product announcement for PS3, the system will have different configurations (thus, 60GB HDD with memory card slots and Wi-Fi and 20GB HDD without memory card slots or Wi-Fi both exist). Application to the FCC has been made with various possibilities in mind, however, it does not lead to a new product announcement at this time,” a spokesman for Sony said, reports Next-Gen web-site.

It is unclear why Sony needs such a modest upgrade to its top-end PlayStation 3 game console, but a logical explanation would be that Seagate, who supplies hard drives for Sony PlayStation 3, plans cease to produce platters needed for 60GB hard drives and can offer 80GB units for the same price.

Sony PlayStation 3 console is based on the Cell processor developed by IBM, Sony and Toshiba, the RSX graphics chip by Nvidia Corp. and will be equipped with Blu-ray optical disk drive. There are two versions of the PlayStation console available in the USA and Japan: one is equipped with 20GB hard disk drive and priced at $499, another features 60GB hard drive, card reader and some other improvements and is offered for $599.

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