The confirmation comes from the Sony’s Scott Steiberg. The America VP of marketing recently confessed to GameDaily during an interview:

"Our strategy at the end of the year was to offer up a $399 40 GB, which we thought was the magic price for a Blu-ray machine and then a $499 80 GB. What we were surprised to see is that $100 really didn’t matter to a certain customer. […]

Reality is the price wasn’t that big of a deal and $499 sold a lot more than we thought, so the 80 GB got dry at retail not due to us artificially compressing it but the demand became greater than we thought. So you’ll see us replenish these in the marketplace. We’re still committed to our current strategy and there is much to do about nothing, I think is the way to think about it."

Well, Scott, let’s review both offers, shall we? With the cheaper 40 GB PS3 one gets less storage space and, perhaps more important, no backwards compatibility with a variety of PS2 games. In the mean time, the 80 GB model doubles the space and also runs older games. A tough choice, I must say, especially when we’re talking about hardcore gamers!