Sony has slashed the price of its PlayStation 3 games console in an attempt to boost sales for the vital Christmas season.

The Japanese electronics maker introduced a revamped slimmer version of the PlayStation 3, raising its hard drive to 120 gigabytes from 80 gigabytes, and lowering the price by about $100 worldwide.

Analyst Singer Capital Markets said the move should be positive for the likes of UK retailers Game Group and HMV.

Sony cut the price of the current model to the same price as the new model, $299 in the US, down from $399, and in Europe to €299 from €399. A conversion of the European price would mean the console retails for about £255 in the UK.

A price cut was the subject of rumours in internet gaming chat rooms during the last few weeks. The console market is currently “mid cycle”, meaning there are no new major console launches this year.