Japan this spring will be hit with new models of Panasonic plasma televisions that will be less thick and also consume half as much electricity as the current models. The main reason for this move is due to the economic recession. Currently, Panasonic is leading SAMSUNG in their sales of plasma televisions, and is hoping to boost its lead even more with an increase of LCD and plasma sets by a total of fifty percent. A new 50-inch model will be about an inch in depth and consume approximately 260 kilowatt hours of electricity a year. Panasonic plans to sell this set for around 600,000 yen, which is about $6,685. A 54-inch model along with this one will also be introduced into the company’s product line. While the new models will be featured in Japan this April, North America should see the products sometime this summer.