Well after tons of speculation and back and forth on the topic, Sony has finally relented and says that the $100 price drop on the 60GB PlayStation 3 is only to clear out the remaining inventory on the original model.
Come August, an 80GB model will hit shelves for $599 (including a copy of Motorstorm,) and the 60GB will be no more. That said, if you want a PlayStation 3 with hardware-based backwards compatiblity with PS2 games, this is your last chance. All indications are that the 80GB and any future models will only include limited software-based emulation of older games.
So if I’m understanding this all right, Sony is temporarily taking a loss on the current inventory to stimulate interest in the console, then they’ll release a version that’s not only just as expensive to buy as the original, it’s actually cheaper for them to produce, thanks to the elimination of the PS2 Emotion Engine chipset.
That’s not to say that Sony might not release a lower-end model, or cut the price on the 80GB model down the road. However, for the foreseeable future, your best bet is to pick up a $499 60GB model before supplies are depleted.