Rumor: Sony prepping PS3 Slim for August 18 launch

San Francisco (CA) – Sony is reportedly preparing to launch a new version of its Playstation 3 console. According to RTL Info, the “PS3 Slim” will be unveiled in Germany on August 18 before the official opening of the Gamescom expo.

Meanwhile, Kotaku claims to have obtained a leaked Japanese 7-Eleven memo that requests a halt to pre-orders of the 80GB PS3 model. The order – scheduled to go into effect on August 9 – was apparently sent at Sony’s request.

However, the company appears to be simultaneously gearing up for a rapid increase in production. Indeed, the infamous DigiTimes reports that Taiwan OEMs have placed “significant orders” for key Sony PS3 components from IC distributors.

“[The] average monthly volume [is] enough for making one million units of the games console in the third quarter, double the average in the second quarter, according to sources with IC distributors,” stated DigiTimes.

Although Sony is expected to announce significant price cuts at the Gamescom Expo, Amazon has already lowered the price of its PS3 160GB Drake’s Fortune bundle from $499 to $449.

As TG Daily previously reported, Activision chief Bobby Kotick recently claimed that the PS3 was losing “momentum,” while the Wii and Xbox 360 were “just selling better.” Kotick also noted that Xbox 360 games generated a higher ROI (return on investment) in comparison with PS3 titles.

“They have to cut the price, because if they don’t, the attach rates [the number of games each console owner buys] are likely to slow,” said Kotick. “If we are being realistic, we might have to stop supporting Sony.”

Sony CEO Howard Stringer responded to Kotick’s threat by attempting to downplay his controversial remarks.

“He likes to make a lot of noise,” explained Stringer. “He’s putting pressure on me and I’m putting pressure on him. That’s the nature of business.”

When asked about the logic of refusing to reduce prices, Stringer noted that he would “lose money on every PlayStation I make – how’s that for logic.”