Earlier we had reported rumors of PS3 Slim, if that wasn’t enough to confirm, Sony’s officially announced their PlayStation 3 Slim that retails for $100 less than the current PlayStation 3 fat, which is also getting a price cut. Live updates coming.
The slim will come with a 120GB drive, and will be 32% smaller and 36% lighter than the standard PlayStation 3, as well as using 34% less power. The $300 price will apply to all PlayStation 3s starting tomorrow. The Slim will be available everywhere by the first week of September.
Here are some more details. The 80GB PS3 (current model) will be discounted to $300, whereas the 160GB PS3 will be $400. There will be a new PS3 logo as well as modifications to the official name from PLAYSTATION 3 to PlayStation 3 as to not be shouting all the time.
It’ll also have a BRAVIA Sync feature that’ll allow you to control the PS3’s XMB with your Sony TV remote as long as they’re connected via HDMI. And the TV will automatically turn off the PS3 when the TV goes off.
There’s also a vertical stand retailing for $24 on September 3. Whether or not you can stand it up vertically for long periods of time without the stand is unknown. Sony also says that they’re eliminating the feature of installing other operating systems on the Slim, so no more Linux.
The PS3 Slim is powered by a new 45nm version of the Cell processor, which runs at the same speed as the 60nm processor in the “old” PS3 but is smaller and more energy efficient. According to company reps, power consumption for the Slim has also been cut to two-thirds, “helping to reduce fan noise,” which is important.
On the cosmetic front, this model has a textured surface finish that gives the PS3 a fresh, casual look that the company hopes will make it more appealing to a wider audience (read: casual gamers). As previously rumored, the PS3 logo has undergone a redesign and Sony’s changing the PS3 brand name from “PLAYSTATION 3” to “PlayStation 3” (we’ve actually been calling it the PlayStation 3 for a while).
Like the 80GB and 160GB models, the 120GB PS3 Slim has built-in Wi-Fi and two USB ports (sorry, Sony didn’t add IR). You can also upgrade/replace the hard drive without voiding the warranty, though Sony has moved the hard drive from the side of the unit to the front for “easier access.” (To remove the hard drive, you simply unscrew the screws). The one feature missing from the Slim is the ability to install another operating system (i.e., Linux)–Sony is doing away with that feature.
With earlier PS3s, you could prop your unit up vertically or lay it down horizontally. Out of the box, the Slim is only designed to be used in a horizontal position, but Sony will sell a $24 stand that allows you to stand it up vertically.
In making the move to the PS3 Slim, Sony will be upgrading the firmware to 3.00 and phasing out its legacy 80GB and 160GB models, selling them for $299 and $399 respectively.
John Koller, director of hardware marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment America, says they’ve been able to run down inventory of older models, but he didn’t have the best answer as to why someone would buy an old 80GB model over the new 120GB Slim. “Some people want a unit right away and they may like the look of the old unit,” he said. “People will have their reasons for wanting one.”
To wrap things up, check out this video from SCEA President and CEO Jack Tretton as he touts the new hardware: