I think this is another sign of new PS3 coming into town...
According to Kotaku (linked above), the Japanese stores have started to get a notice to discontinue selling the 80GB as of August 9th, which is about right before the new PS3 Slim is supposed to be announced.
To quote: The 20GB, 40GB and 60GB versions of the PS3 have been discontinued. According to this, it looks like the 80GB PlayStation 3 is next.
This notice is apparently from retailer 7-Eleven (7-Eleven sells video games in Japan) and stats that pre-orders for the Black, White and Silver 80GB PS3 will cease on Sunday, August 9 at 10am.
The reason listed is literally "For the manufacturer" — or at the maker's request.
The notice also notes that all in-store displays for the 80GB model are to be taken down. If this is true, then Japan would be left with only the 160GB PlayStation... Or perhaps there is an upgrade in store.
More PlayStation 3 News...