A cut price PlayStation 3 (PS3) with a smaller hard drive and no backwards compatibility with previous consoles goes on sale later this month. The Â£299 PS3 has a 40-gigabyte hard disk and will be released in Europe, Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. Sony has also slashed the price of the 60GB model from Â£425 to Â£349, as it hopes to ignite sales. Ray Maguire, head of PlayStation UK, said he expected the PS3 user base to double by Christmas. Mr Maguire said the release of the 40GB PS3 was a "strategic decision" and not the result of lower-than-expected sales of the PlayStation 3. "We have done market research, looked at fans' forums and the feedback from consumers is that they are anxious to get into PlayStation 3 but it is too expensive," he told BBC News.