Sony's "wallet-friendly" 12GB PS3 will finally reach North America on August 18, according to numerous retailer leaks today.
While Sony is yet to make an official announcement, leaked information from retailers in both Canada and the US appear to reveal that distribution of the console, priced at $199.99, is already underway.
A listing for the 12GB PS3 was spotted today on Canadian retailer Future Shop's website, before the revealing post was swiftly removed.
Engadget has also secured what is claimed to be a photo of the budget console ready and waiting in a Kmart stockroom in US, with a labeled release of August 18 - which lines up with previous rumours.
The 12GB SKU's arrival in US will mark the first time that the PS3's official price has dipped below the crucial $200 mark. At present, 250GB PS3s bundled with a single game are available for $270.
Sony released the so-called "wallet-friendly" SKU exclusively in Europe on October 12, 2012 priced at €230/£185. The machine contains 12GB of flash memory - as oppose to the conventional hard disk drive used in other PS3 SKUs. While this doesn't offer a great volume of storage for PSN download titles, it does't lower the initial barrier to entry and users can connect a SATA internal hard drive with use of an official mounting bracket, or pick up an official PlayStation 250GB internal HDD at a later date.