The PlayStation 3 will now cost $249, down from $300 for the 160GB model, according to a Sony announcement today. That price drop is effective immediately. No word on the price of the more expensive model, the $349 320GB model.

Update: Sony tells us that the 320GB unit will now sell for $299.

The 160GB PS3 is also dropping in price in Europe and PAL territories to 249 Euros (349 Euros for the 320GB). In Japan, it will drop to 24,980 Yen. (29,980 Yen for the 32 GB version). The U.S. and European/PAL price drops are effective immediately. The price cut for Japan kicks in on August 18.

The competing Nintendo Wii currently sells for $150 in the U.S. with Mario Kart bundled in. The Xbox 360 starts at $199, $299 with Kinect.