The long-awaited and much-rumoured PlayStation 3 Slim has finally been unveiled by Sony at their GamesCom presentation in Cologne, Germany, which also saw the announcement of a price cut for the original PS3 (henceforth and forever known as the ‘Fat PS3’), a new firmware update for the PS3, ‘Mini’ games for the PSP and a digital comics reader for the handheld console.
The PS3 Slim comes with a matte-black finish instead of the glossy piano that adorned the Fat PS3, and is 32% lesser in size, 36% lesser in weight and 34% lesser in power consumption. It is fitted with a 120GB hard disk, but like its predecessor, this can be swapped for a larger hard drive. The device will not be backwards compatible with the PS2 and neither will it support Linux operating systems. Packaged with a DualShock 3 controller, the PS3 Slim will retail for $299.99. Price details and release dates for the Indian market are expected to be announced shortly.
Engadget has provided great coverage of unboxing the new PS3 Slim and released some tidbits. Changes in the system include clickable buttons for ejecting discs and switching the console on and off. Also, it is noticeably quieter than the original console, especially while playing Blu-Ray movies.
Meanwhile, the Fat PS3 also got some slimming in the price department. Game developers have been crying hoarse for a cut in the price of the console, and Sony has obliged by bringing the 80GB Fat PS3 down to the same price as the PS3 Slim – $299.99. Again, no games will be bundled with this.
The PS3’s interface is also set to see an update to Firmware 3.0, which will bring animated themes with avatars, a new status indicator, a modified friends list, assorted interface changes, tweaks to trophies, and a ‘What's New’ section that replaces the Information Board.
The PlayStation Portable was not ignored in the long list of announcements, with it receiving special attention for comic book fans. The Digital Reader service will be launched in December in the US, UK and a few other select regions (of course, India probably won’t be on the list) and has already signed up partnerships with Marvel Comics, IDW Publishing and other comic book giants to deliver popular titles such as Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Archie, Transformers, Star Trek, etc.
"This is a great new service that offers PSP owners even more options for entertainment on the go and makes PSP a must for comics fans," says Isabelle Tomatis, European Marketing Manager, Hardware and Platforms, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
Lastly, the company also announced small games for the PSP, dubbed ‘Minis’, that will be about 100MB in size and could be downloaded via Wi-Fi. These Minis will include quick-and-easy games such as Tetris, SuDoKu, MiniGore, Hero of Sparta, Fieldrunners, etc. The games will be downloadable via the PSN Store from October 1.