While the world waits for Sony to announce the next generation of gaming systems with the fourth PlayStation, Sony has taken the step of dropping the price of its current console.

On August 22, Sony will cut $150 off the original $499 price tag of the 160GB PS3, bringing it down to $349.95. Sony’s larger 320GB model also receives the price reduction, now hitting the $449.95 price tag.

Meanwhile, Sony has this week confirmed what we suspected several weeks ago: the PlayStation Vita (above) would be released to Japan only this year, with the rest of the world seeing the next-gen portable early 2012.

In its place, Sony is releasing a new version of the PlayStation Portable. For $139.95, Australians will be able to grab the new PSP E1000, with support for Memory Stick, UMD games, but missing wireless networking.

We’re not quite sure why this is a big deal, especially with WiFi-equipped PlayStation Portables fetching barely $50 more and coming with more support for online gaming than its newer cousin.