Sony cuts PS3 price, debuts new slim design

by W. Andrew Powell
PlayStation 3 Slim

PlayStation 3 Slim

If you’ve been holding off on buying a Playstation 3 because you heard there was going to be a price drop, I’ve got some good news for you.

Earlier today Sony Computer Entertainment revealed that the price of a PlayStation 3 will drop to $299 across North America, effective as of September 1, 2009. On top of that, Sony also released images and details for a new slim, charcoal black PS3, in addition to an updated console logo.

The interesting thing to note is that the slimmed down and lightened up PS3 (product code CECH-2000A), which Sony says is two-thirds the size and weight of the original PS3, will also retail for $299, and will have a 120 GB hard drive. That effectively means that for the same price you get to choose between the old model, chunky PS3 with an 80 GB hard drive, versus a slicker new design with 40 extra gigabytes of space.

Sony also announced that the price of the 160 GB PS3 will also drop to $399 as of August 18.

Cutting their prices, and launching a remodelled console is of course a very bright move as we start heading into the upcoming Holiday shopping season, which will obviously make it a hot item this December.

Comparing the slim PS3 to other consoles, the Xbox 360 sells a 60 GB model for $299, and an HDMI-capable model with 120 GB of space for $399. Nintendo’s Wii, which does not have a hard drive, retails for $279.

In addition to the new design, the 120 GB PlayStation 3 will ship with firmware version 3.00, which adds a “What’s New” tab to the XMB (XrossMediaBar), but it also removes the previous option to install other operating systems. Sony suggested in the press release that this was because “The new PS3 system will focus on delivering games and other entertainment content.”

Photos of the slim PS3:

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