White is the new black for Sony's updated PS3

Sony to release new higher-spec PS3 models in Japan, including one with an optional white finish.

Microsoft just flipped its bevel-edged, cream-colored Xbox 360 to piano black, and now Sony's shifting its matte-sable slimline PS3 into the ivory zone.

Sony says it'll launch a 160GB as well as a 320GB PS3, but the company's only offering the new white finish if you buy the 160GB model for 29,980 yen (US$342). An alternative 320GB model will be available for 34,980 yen ($399) in the traditional matte black only. The new models will replace the current 120GB and 250GB versions.

If you're lucky enough to reside in the Land of the Rising Sun, you can get your hands on Sony's new snow-white PS3 later this month (July 29). Sony won't say when--or if--the new model would show up internationally, vaguely referencing "market demand" as the determining factor.

The new white version will ship with a color-matched DualShock 3 controller and console stand. It still won't include an HDMI cable, though you can pick up a six-footer for between $5 and $10 online. It isn't clear (yet) if anything's new under the hood, in terms of chipset revisions, power consumption, or thermal management.

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