MGS4 bundle resurrects backwardly compatible PS3

Along with news of a

God of War PSP bundle

and a North American launch date for the

Dualshock 3

joypad, SCEA has also confirmed a Metal Gear Solid 4 PS3 bundle – which will include the backwardly compatible 80GB PS3 that Sony had previosuly said would be discontinued.

The new hardware bundle will include Konami’s hugely anticipated stealth action outing, as well as an 80GB PS3 and rumbling Dualshock 3 pad. It will cost $499.99 and arrive in late Q2 2008 – which of course suggests that the release of Konami’s game will be around then, too.

Also confirmed was the news that those who pre-order MGS4 in North America will also secure themselves beta access to Metal Gear Online, which is currently expected to arrive in April.

However, the most surprising announcement is the confirmation in the comments section on this story on Sony’s official US blog that the MGS4 bundle will include an 80GB PS3 – a machine thought to be being phased out of production.

SCEA boss Jack Tretton said iof the decision: "In response to incredible demand, we will be manufacturing more 80GB PS3s for North America and the Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots 80GB PS3 bundle is an ideal way to offer that continued value to our consumers."

Sony’s launch PS3s in the US and Japan included backwards compatibility as standard. However, for the arrival of the machine in Europe Sony dropped some of the hardware components it had been using for the functionality and replaced it with software based emulation – a system that is notably less reliable.

This software based emulation was then removed from the machine altogether with the release of the 40GB version, whilst the 80GB model was to be discontinued.

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