One of the things that has held me off buying one of the so-called next-gen consoles (PS3, 360) is what I'd like to call the SKU circus. SKU stands, for the uninitiated, for Stock Keeping Unit and is (quoting wikipedia) "a unique identifier for each of the distinct products and services that can be ordered from a supplier" - a more business oriented term for different products, i.e. the the 60G PS3 and the 40G PS3 constitute two different SKUs. The SKU circus is, in short, this obsession Microsoft and Sony seem to have with introducing new models (or SKUs) at different prices with differing functionality. At the moment, there are five different PS3 SKUs in the wild: - The original 20G PS3 (with EE+GS), now discontinued in the US but still on sale in Japan - The original 60G PS3 (with EE+GS), discontinued in the US but still on sale in Japan - The european 60G PS3 (with software emulation of EE, GS), on sale in PAL regions but will supposedly be discontinued (?). - The 80G PS3 (with software emulation of the EE, GS), on sale in the US, Korea, Singapore, Hong-Kong, Mexico (but to be introduced in PAL regions, Japan). - The 40G PS3 (without GS, hence no backwards compatibility whatsoever), on sale in Europe, Japan, soon in the US. And the 360 is even worse: - Core (no HDD, no HDMI, no wireless), formerly the base line model. Was on sale everywhere, but is now discontinued. - Arcade (no HDD, HDMI, wireless), the new baseline model, to go on sale worldwide. - Premium (20G HDD, no HDMI, wireless), no longer available - Zephyr Premium (20G HDD, HDMI, wireless), available worldwide. - Falcon Premium (20G HDD, HDMI, wireless), very little is known about it, but supposedly in the wild. Runs cooler as a result of the 65nm manufacturing process. - Elite (120G HDD, HDMI, wireless), available worldwide. Note: there might be other models with Falcon motherboards, information is scarce right now. And now we're going to have yet another 360 SKU as Microsoft is planning to introduce HD tv tuners in some models. As a consumer I dislike this as I have no idea whether I'm getting my money's worth. If another SKU is introduced tomorrow at the same price as the one I bought today, with more functionality - I'm obviously not. The whole point of console platforms is hardware conformity, and this thing with introducing multiple SKUs with different hardware screws that up. There have already been cases with incompatibility in regards to the Xbox 360 Core as a result of Microsoft's decision not to ship it with a hard drive. What says there aren't going to be PS3 games that utilize the EE and/or GS for calculations (Rare games on SNES did some calculations on the SPC700 sound chip, so the idea isn't new)? When are we going to see a de-facto SKU for these two consoles? What do you think?