Tuesday, August 18, 2009

PS3 Slim: Announcements, Secrets, and Firmwares

When I woke up this morning and read through the tech blogs, there was only one particular news that was all over the headlines: PS3 Slim! Yes, it's no longer the fake that we saw a few weeks ago, but rather the real deal!

PS3 Slim Unveiled in GamesCom 2009

At Sony's GamesCom 2009 press conference, SCEI CEO Kaz Hirai unveiled the PlayStation 3 Slim. The new model will be available in stores starting the first week of September 2009. It is roughly 1/3 smaller and lighter than the current PS3 (and uses 1/3 less power! Gcycle!!!). The Slim will come with a 120GB hard drive. Sadly, backwards compatibility will not be a part of the PlayStation 3 slim, as well. However, most importantly, it will be the cheapest PS3 to date, with a price of $299 USD. The lower price will also apply to all 80GB models still available.
Let's admit it, the Sony PS3 was expected to become the no. 1 gaming console in the world when it went out, but it was beaten by a smaller, cheaper, and more gameplay innovative Nintendo Wii. Sony decided to do something about it by somewhat "copying" the Wii: they got smaller and (supposedly) cheaper with the new PS3 Slim.

Sony hid the PS3 Slim secret from everyone!

Here's an interesting story about the PS3 Slim: Sony wanted to keep it hush-hush before the big announcement (which was today). They used "Sand Dollar Enterprise, Inc." to file the PS3 Slim with the FCC.
Turns out "Sand Dollar Enterprise, Inc"'s address in Foster City, CA is registered to Sony, and by listing the PS3 Slim under a different company, they avoided detection by diligent FCC hunters like, well, us. Interestingly, the filing includes mention of two other models, differing only in HDD capacity from the 120GB model we've seen—looks like a 150GB and a 250GB.
Well, they surely hid it well and now the interwebz is all abuzz with the new gaming console!

Here's what we know for now:
  • Price: $299.99
  • Color: Matte Black
  • HDD: 120GB 2.5-inch SATA
  • Dimensions: 11.42 x 2.56 x 11.42 in.
  • Weight: 7.05 lb.
  • Power: 250W
  • Compatibility: PSOne
  • BRAVIA Sync (HDMI-CEC): Yes
  • Bundle: Wireless DualShock 3 controller
  • Availability: September 2009

Sony Playstation Firmware 3.0

In a related story, the Sony PlayStation Firmware will be upgraded to 3.0. The changes will be as follows:
  • A new Playstation Network tab, named "What's New". Supposedly it'll be the first thing that pops up when you turn on your console. It will focus on new features, news, and downloadable content
  • New theme upgrades. You will have to option to change themes as the day goes on.
  • A status box will allow you to see and contact your friends who are online.
  • New avatar icons. There will be premium ones which will have to be bought from the Playstation Store.
Here's a couple of screencaps for you:

How will this impact sales for the Wii and the Xbox 360? Does this mean that there will be a price cut for the PS3 Fat 80 GB (since it's both priced at $299)? Will Sony finally make a killing on the gaming console industry?

Source for Sony's PS3 Slim Official Announcement
Source for Sony Using Pseudonym to hide PS3 Slim
Source for PS3 Slim Specs
Source for Playstation Firmware 3.0

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