After much speculation over the last few months, Sony, a company that continues to allow leaks of upcoming product refreshes, has confirmed, at today’s GamesCom, that a slim PS3 will hit the market. Poised for an early September launch, the PS3 slim cuts the fat and the price as it will retail for $299.99, 299 euros, and 29980 yen. The new PS3 slim possess “all the same features” as the current PS3 lineup while becoming 33% smaller, 36% lighter, and using 34% less power. The PS3 will continue to sport a blu-ray drive, of course, and will include a 120GB integrated hard drive. I assume HD’s won’t continue to be as easy to replace as the older PS3′s model allowed, but, at this time, no official word has been given.
In anticipation of this launch, but mostly to clear current inventory, fat PS3 models have been discounted by $100. The 80GB model, for instance, will begin to sell for $299, the same price as the new PS3 slim. According to Sony, these price updates should be effective immediately but most retailers are still reflecting the old prices. Prior to launch, Sony began clearing inventory which makes sense because this price drop doesn’t make me want to run out and purchase an old PS3. I mean, the 80GB model is the same price as the upcoming, improved 120GB slim PS3. 80GB today or 120GB, in a smaller form factor, tomorrow: what would you choose?
It’s about time Sony released this update. The original PS3 was way too big and bulky. It’s almost as if they launch consoles bigger than they need to be just so they can sell a slim version down the road. So far, Sony has done that with their entire PlayStation line and it’s really quite frustrating. Is this an improvement? Sure. Is it worth the upgrade? Maybe. Is Sony benefiting more than the consumer? Definitely.