The PlayStation 3 has had a tummy tuck and been on a diet. Releasing on 3rd September, the new "Slim" model is half the thickness and a substantial 1.7 kg lighter than the previous model. It also sports a sizable 120 GB hard drive, and a very welcome price cut to $629 RRP (and can be found on sale for as little as $589).
In fact, price cutting seems to have been the primary motivation for the new model. The PS3 Slim is cheaper to make, and it shows - the old "phat" PS3's familiar piano black gloss finish and chrome bling have been replaced with a subdued slab of matte black plastic, which we were a little disappointed by. On the plus side, though, the matte finish is much more practical - dust and finger marks are no longer an issue.
Internally, the Slim sports an updated Cell Broadband Engine CPU manufactured using a 45-nanometre process (compared with the previous model's 65-nm and the original launch model's 90-nm Cell), which helps the new console to run cooler and consume 34% less power - so it's better for the planet and your electricity bill, too.
With the Xbox 360 Elite dropping in price to $499 later in September, Sony will still have the most expensive console in the NZ market - but with Blu-Ray, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth all built in, the PS3 Slim arguably represents as good if not better value than its competitors. Overall, we think the Slim is just what the doctor ordered.