Digital Life


Sony announces new, slimmer PlayStation 3

  • New models on sale in Australia next week
  • 12 gigabyte model for $299.95
  • 500 gigabyte model for $399.95

Sony Computer Entertainment has announced slimmed down new versions of its PlayStation 3 (PS3) game console will go on sale next week.

The move comes as the Japanese consumer electronics giant works to shake off its financial woes with help from its Vita handheld gaming device and new content for its PS3 consoles.

Sony says it completely redesigned console innards, reducing volume and weight. The new PS3, closer to the size of a laptop, is half the size of the original model.

A new PS3 with 12 gigabytes of flash memory priced at $299.95 will be released in Australia next Thursday, September 27, along with a 500 gigabyte hard drive model for $399.95.

The first model will be made only in charcoal black, with a white version to be released in Japan in November, with other countries to follow. A 250 gigabyte external hard drive, called the "Dedicated HDD", will go on sale in Australia and New Zealand in November; it's price is not yet known.


Games that were designed for the PlayStation2 and original PlayStation models are not compatible with the new PS3.

In a sign that the consumer technology price wars between Australia and the rest of the world are far from over, the 500 gigabyte model will be available for $US299 from October 30 in the States, in addition to a 250 gigabyte model for $US249.

The 500 gigabyte model will be available in Japan on October 4 for 29,800 Yen, and in Europe on September 28 for 299 Euros.

Memory capacity for consoles has become increasingly important to users as lifestyles shift to downloading games, films, and other digital content from the internet.

Sony has been beefing up its PlayStation Network online service for games, movies and music and made free games available for PlayStation Plus members.

More than 4,000 games have become available for download on the PS3 since the console was launched in November 2006, according to Sony.

The company plans to expand entertainment based on cloud computing, which offers storage and other computer services over the network, after recently acquiring Gaikai, a US game company.

Hiroshi Kawano, who heads Sony's game business in Japan, said the networking feature of PS3 allows users to enjoy millions of tunes, karaoke at home and a growing library of movies.

"Even after six years, the PlayStation 3 has not lost momentum and continues to deliver powerful home entertainment," he said in Tokyo.

Some speculation is buzzing about a PlayStation 4, possibly before the end of 2013, but officials were mum on that topic.

AP/AFP/Fairfax Media