We thought that Amazon and HMV would be selling the 12GB model of Sony's super-slim PlayStation 3 gaming console for just under £120 over Christmas, but apparently they ran into various problems, including lack of stock and temporary price hikes - at time of publication, HMV's PS3 listing features a £185 price tag and a shipping estimate of "7 to 10 days."
Fortunately, another vendor, Shopto.net, currently sells the budget PS3 console on eBay for just £118.99, throwing in free shipping and 119 Nectar points for good measure. Oddly enough, Shopto.net sells the console on its own website for almost £140, and the cheapest 500GB PS3 console in the UK costs a whopping £210.
This makes buying the cheaper PS3 along with an affordable external hard disk drive (like this £54 1TB Hitachi Touro Mobile MX3 from Amazon or Ebuyer) a good deal - in essence, £170 outlay for a svelte new PlayStation 3 with a 1TB HDD. A word of caution, however: make sure you're comfortable with the DIY aspect of upgrading the console's on-board storage by checking out some of the threads and videos widely available online.
The new console no longer comes with a slot-in Blu-ray optical drive and sports a much slimmer chassis; its weight and volume has been more than halved compared to the original PS3. The console was launched back on 28 September and will allow Sony to improve reliability and profit margin as the product nears end-of-life and consumers start to consider holding on to their cash in anticipation of the release of the next-gen PlayStation 4.
Over Boxing Day, Tesco sold the Microsoft Xbox 360 4GB gaming console for £99 but the console is now back to £140.