Following the successful launch of a slimmer PlayStation 3 model back in September, Sony has announced a beefier 250GB variant of the console is due to hit U.S. stores next month priced at $350. Besides upping storage capacity, the new system will be otherwise identical to the existing 120GB version which sells for $50 less.

The move comes as expected after leaks suggesting a larger-capacity PS3 would arrive sometime in October. Contrary to some rumors, however, for now the 250GB console has not been announced as part of any bundle like we've seen elsewhere – Japan will be getting a Final Fantasy XIII bundle in December, for example, while customers in Europe can now get the new 250GB model packed alongside Naughty Dog's Uncharted 2. Hopefully Sony will announce a similar deal for U.S. customers in time for the holiday season.

Those who recently bought the 120GB version, and PS3 owners in general, might be interested to know that you can also swap out the 2.5-inch SATA drive yourself without voiding the warranty on your PlayStation 3. A quick search online shows that a 320GB hard disk drive can be had for around $56 and a 400GB model for $70, so you'll have to pay a little a premium assuming you even need more storage capacity.