233w ago - It is real. As previously reported, according to Super_Secret the 'PS3 Slim' is a PS3 that's been cut down as much as physically possible without preventing the loss of playback of any existing PS3 title out there.
It still has Blu-ray, it still has wireless, it still has bluetooth and it still has gigabit ethernet. "OtherOS" support has been removed.
You still get 2 USB ports.
Hard drive sizes will be bigger, it will come in 120Gb and 250Gb flavors. It's still replaceable and will actually be slightly easier as it has been relocated to the front of the console.
It will NOT have any "new" features, such as backwards compatibility or enhanced peripheral support. It's just a PS3, but slightly smaller and cheaper. The power supply is still internal, but a different power cable will be used.
Rear ports are still the same: 1x HDMI, 1x Sony AV port, 1x Optical, 1x Ethernet. And of course a power port. Release date and official announcement are not final.
Price is undetermined, but make no mistake, this is a "slimmed" PS3 in every sense of the word. It's as cheap as can possibly be, so expect it to launch with a smaller price tag than what you're paying now in your respective territories.
Internally, several daughter boards have been removed, but all functionality is still there. This is due to a more advanced manufacturing process. It still uses a few extra boards, though, we're not quite at PSTwo levels yet.
A cheaper Blu-ray drive is being used. It wont be any slower, but expect to see similar issues that another competitor had a while ago. Touch-sensitive buttons on the front for power/eject are gone in favor of cheaper push buttons.
It has a slightly different startup screen. Only slightly. It's about 50% smaller than current PS3s. It wont be called the "PS3 Slim". The PS1 "slim" and the PS2 "slim" were never officially called the "slim", either.
In short: It's a smaller PS3, but that's it. No new features, no special hardware, just smaller and cheaper. And it wont have sex with you.
Cross-game chat is in the works as part of Firmware 3.0. It wont be out during the summer, but assuming all goes well, it will be out well before the holidays.
Current timeframe places it around September, but it's still very much a WIP. If there are any major delays, that will slip and if there are very few delays at all, it might even arrive earlier, but don't bank on it as it is a lot more complicated than you might imagine.
At this point, it's working quite well in the labs and supports several players at once. It's targeted to work with all past and future games that support ingame XMB, much like text chat.
I'm not a betting man, but I wouldn't be surprised if the "slim" shipped with this firmware installed (that doesn't mean the slim will come first, remember).
Who said the 3000 wasn't being phased out? It will be and sooner than you realize. However, the PSP Go isn't what's replacing it. The 4000 is. And yes, it will have a UMD drive. And similar to the PS3 "slim", it's nothing to actually get excited about.
Keep a very close eye on the hard drives shipped with newer PS3's. In a few months (or possibly sooner), something strange is going to start happening.
There you have it, folks. That's it, I'm done, I'm outta here. If you have any more questions, you'll just have to wait like everyone else.
This account is gone, never to be logged into again. You might see me in a few months time when I've got something even more awesome to tell you, but it wont be from this account, and it probably wont even be on this site. Adios!
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I can't figure out what the cost savings could possibly be in not having OtherOS support. So far as I understand it, that doesn't use any special hardware at all - just the properties of the Cell itself, to run a 'hypervisor' that Linux or whatever runs under. How could you save any significant money by removing that?
I can only come up with a couple, not-terribly-likely scenarios. 1) Sony already uses Cells where one of the SPUs was mis-manufactured. (They always disable one of the eight SPUs, that way they can use even Cells with a slight defect affecting one of the SPUs. This is very common in electronics in general.) Maybe they will use Cells where there's a defect in the hardware virtualization for the Slim, improving yield very slightly.
2) Some of the hardware changes affect the hypervisor they wrote to allow OtherOS support. Rather than spend money and developer time updating the hypervisor, they just disable it for the Slim.
Either way, unless I'm missing something critical the savings are incredibly marginal...