Today at the Gamescom conference in Germany, Sony announced the long rumored and awaited PlayStation 3 Slim. As implied merely by the title the unit is actually about 35% smaller than the original PS3 in volume and weighs about 4 pounds less. Despite being put on a diet, the compact unit doesn’t lack features either. The PS3 Slim is packed with a 120GB HDD and a Blu-Ray Player. And as a bonus for those of you saving on electricity, the unit now consumes about 35% less energy.
This isn’t the first time Sony’s slimmed down on a console. It’s predecessor the PlayStation 2 also shed a few pounds and was re-launched with a new look a couple of years after launch. The PlayStation Portable also was re-branded as a more compact PSP Go and will be reaching stores later this year.
Sony’s PlayStation 3 hasn’t dominated the console war as the PS2 had during it’s time, mainly due to competing prices. As of early 2009, the Sony PS3 has sold about 24 million units worldwide behind both Microsoft’s Xbox 360 at ~32 million units and Nintendo’s Wii at ~52 million units. For consumers, the good news might be the new price tag of $299, which is effective immediately, for both the upcoming Slim model and the currently available one. One quirk that still disappoints is a continued lack of backwards compatibility for PlayStation 2 games. Despite that, if you are interested in grabbing a unit, the PS3 Slim will be available for purchase online and in stores on September 1st, 2009.