Clearly slightly worried about the impending release of Nintendo’s Wii U, Sony has lifted the lid on their latest slimmed downed revision of the PS3.
Sony announced the new machines at its press conference proceeding the Tokyo Game Show on Tuesday night.
Measuring and weighing half the size of the original console, the new slimline console will come in two specifications: one with a massive 500GB hard drive, which will be on sale September 28, and the other, a budget version, will be arriving on October 12 with a paltry 12 GB flash memory.
The new PS3 looks strikingly similar to the original George Foreman-esque console, but this time it’s sporting a ridged top panel and gloss edges.
As well as the diet the console see’s a few minor tweaks, too: for the first in PS3 history the more expensive slot Blu-Ray drive has gone and is now replaced with a top-loading sliding door drive. And it’s slightly less power-hungry as it only uses 190W rather than 200W
For prices, you’re looking at 300 euros (£240) for the 500GB (with FIFA 13 bundled), and 230 euros (£185) for the 12GB version.
Originally launched in 2006, the PS3 was redesigned and slimmed downed in 2009 and has since gone on to sell in the region of 66m units worldwide.
Owners are also able to use the hard drive to store photos and videos as well as digital games. Buyers of the limited 12GB flash version will be able to attach an external hard drive to boost capacity if needed.
Sony will be bundling a slew of top titles with the new console in the run up to lucrative Christmas period, and will be bundled with FIFA 13 (mentioned above) as well as Assassin’s Creed 3 and their latest Wonderbook augmented reality reading games.
Gamers will no doubt assume that another refreshed “entry-level” option just before the lucrative Christmas period would suggest that this might be the last Christmas for the seven-year-old console. And would hopefully pave the way for a follow-up to be unveiled to the public at LA’s E3 games conference. Rival manufacturer Microsoft is also expected to reveal its successor to the Xbox 360 at the same event.
The company also confirmed that its PlayStation Mobile platform will launch on 3 October. The service offers PlayStation certified games on compatible Android handsets and tablets.
So what does it hint at for the PS4?
The two-tier, lower capacity, version offers an glimpse into Sony’s plans for the PS4 and suggests that Sony will launch a cheaper PS4 alongside a full-fat version. With a Ninty and Micosoft quite often cheaper, and the rise of free-to-play and mobile games, Sony looks to have learned they need to stay competitive throughout their console cycle.
Today’s announcement doesn’t really shed any light on the rumour that the next Playstation will be able to output 4k resolutions – but if Sony wants to turn around their ailing TV department; a slew of competitevly price 4K sets alongside a new 4k compatible console could usher in a new golden age of HDTVs.
The new slim PS3, ultimately, shows that Sony is constantly looking improve upon their production techniques and make their console as cheap as possible – and if Sony can start matching Microsoft’s and Nintendo’s pricing, but keep their bullet-proof build quality then they’ll be in the perfect position to release a new console next year and beyond.