Rumor: Slim PS3 Coming?


Rumors are surfacing of a forthcoming slim PS3.

slimps3.jpg

Sony always size/cost reduces their hardware, so a slim PS3 is obviously coming, it’s simply a question of when.

Engadget also says:

the next iteration of PS3 packages has been all but confirmed during a GameStop conference call recently.

So, the safe bets for hardware revisions:

  • Bigger Hard Disk
  • DualShock 3 controller with both sixaxis funtionality and rumble
  • Newer cheaper, cooler, quieter, and more reliable parts
  • Smaller Form Factor

The big questions are:

  • When will these improvements hit?
  • Will we see original PS3 features restored such as PS2 backward compatibility, 4 USB ports, integrated flash card reader, and SACD support?
  • Will we get extras such as DVR features, optical disc writing, and expanded RAM for improved Linux home PC support (Not adding RAM for game use, that would be ridiculous, but special SKUs with extra Linux ONLY RAM)

EDIT: Clarified extra Linux PC RAM Possibility.


Written by: Darrin - Contributing Editor


  1. #1 by SL33PY on February 1st, 2008 [ 2371 Points ]

    On the BC, that is a very simple answer. Sony was (not so long ago, and probable still is) searching for a developer to develop “BC emu software for PS1 ,2 ,3 and PSP for both the PS3 and a next generation console (aka PS4)

    BC will come back as a firmware update and I forsee the update to come around october 2008 (it all depends on the person they hire for the job, when they hire him and how good he is)

  2. #2 by Tommy on February 1st, 2008

    Or she!

  3. #3 by fleakitten on February 1st, 2008 [ 26489 Points ]

    That design is ugly.

  4. #4 by Tosh Hatch on February 1st, 2008 [ 1102 Points ]

    Looks like a gentle breeze will blow it over. And where is there room for a hard drive. Ugly mock up!

  5. #5 by Edwin on February 1st, 2008

    No way they are going to add more RAM to the newer PS3 models (if they come out). It doesn’t make any since, developer’s are not going to use the extra RAM becuase they know the game is not going to work properly in the older PS3s.

  6. #6 by Emrah on February 1st, 2008

    Expanded ram would be a very, very, very bad idea. That’s against the concept of consoles as a whole.

  7. #7 by Sporty on February 1st, 2008 [ 95 Points ]

    Adding ram would be pointless. Devs couldn’t use it, they have to program for the lowest common system to maintain full compatibility.

    Besides it would go against lowering manufacturing costs.

  8. #8 by Darrin on February 1st, 2008 [ 17143 Points ]

    Edwin+Emrah+Sporty, you don’t understand me:

    The PS3 in game mode, will *always* be fixed at 256MB+256MB. That’s definitely not going to change. Devs will *never* make PS3 games that target special high RAM SKUs. That’s not what I’m referring to.

    Sony could sell a special SKU with special RAM that would *only* be enabled in *Linux mode*. This would make Linux mode usable for regular PC use: web/email/word processing/programming/etc.

    I think that would be a real killer app. Tons of people need a basic PC that runs at a decent speed, and the PS3 could do that for a low price with just a little more RAM.

  9. #9 by JimmyStewart on February 1st, 2008

    I’ve gotta say this picture looks awesome… but almost certainly a fake. Seems hard to believe they could go that small that fast, and it looks just too much like a “wishlist” for what some photoshopper wants the console to be.

    Still, sign me up for another one if it comes out!

  10. #10 by BenTheBen on February 1st, 2008

    Can you stop with your linux crap?? It’s a game console, not a computer.. They won’t do a Geek version for people wanting to install linux cause they know that apply to 0.5% of the buyers…

  11. #11 by Darrin on February 1st, 2008 [ 17143 Points ]

    Ben, some people want convergence. They would love a single device that does what a PS3 does *and* does what a regular home PC does. Look at the Assu EEPC. Linux is fine for most basic web/email/word processing use.

    Jimmy, sure it’s probably a photoshop, but still a fun post. Also a smaller form factor will happen whether that pic is bogus or not.

  12. #12 by Sporty on February 1st, 2008 [ 95 Points ]

    I see your point, but still that doesn’t make since due to them wanting to lower costs of the console.

    Linux is there for hobbyist right now, so I doubt Sony will add more RAM for a small percentage of users they get no profit from. Besides opening up RSX would add 256M and speed up Linux far more then just ram and not add costs to the console, and I wouldn’t hold my breath for that either, due to the piracy concerns.

  13. #13 by Darrin on February 1st, 2008 [ 17143 Points ]

    Right now, the PS3 Linux support is an obscure fringe “hobbyist” feature. It doesn’t have to be. If they shipped it with Linux + apps preinstalled with 1GB RAM for $400-$500, it would be a big, mainstream, hit.

    Cost? The fancy RAM that PS3 uses is more expensive, but plain PC RAM is cheap. 1GB of DDR is $20 and I’m sure it would be cheaper for Sony when buying in bulk.

  14. #14 by Segitz on February 1st, 2008 [ 1470 Points ]

    This *IS* a fake…

    If this wasn’t a fake, then the BD Slot wouldn’t look exactly like the one on the Wii.

    Sony “could” manage to pack the PS3 into such a small package, but I doubt they do it that early (a new looking SKU this early in a products lifetime doesn’t make sense!)

  15. #15 by Sporty on February 1st, 2008 [ 95 Points ]

    Yes that picture is a fake, it’s a mock by T3 based on rumors.

    A new SKU is coming though, but probably wont look any different other then larger HDD and DS3. Maybe white option also.

    But for $400-500~ range someone can get a Linux PC with more tailored specs. Even if they marketed it as a Linux machine then they would take a loss or break even on hardware, make no profit on software and have to provide support or continue as is.

    Why would Sony want to do that? Seems smarter and more worthwhile to continue to improve PS3 as a media system as they’ve been doing, which also adds to the value and positions it as a media hub.

  16. #16 by matt on February 1st, 2008

    There isn’t going to be a “Slim” PS3 for at least 2 more years. This is for the same reason car makers keep models for 4 years. It cost a lot of money to set up production facilities for the original size. Why screw up the whole process when they aren’t making money yet. This would cost them millions more that they wouldn’t easily make up. The hardware revision will come when they can no longer reduce the cost of the original.

    The whole Ram thing is ridiculous. They are not going to worry about a feature that almost all regular users have no interest in. Sony is struggling enough for market share. the last thing that they need to do is introduce a 3rd model and further confuse the market. The 40 and the new 100+gb systems will be the only ones we will see.

  17. #17 by Darrin on February 1st, 2008 [ 17143 Points ]

    “But for $400-500~ range someone can get a Linux PC with more tailored specs.”

    For that price, do you get wireless? A Blu-Ray drive? A fancy Cell CPU? Nice HDMI video card? Is it half as cool looking as the PS3? With extra sales volume, they could turn a profit on the hardware.

    Plus even the users that would buy it as a PC, would eventually end up picking up PS3 games for it as well.

  18. #18 by mcloki on February 1st, 2008

    The upgraded RAM spec would be a great thing on Sony’s part for the developers but you would really, really piss off the early adopters. But I would probably end up buying the upgraded RAM version in two years anyways. And it would probably take that long before games came out that used the space. SO it could happen.
    The installed base right now, would only be a small percentage of the total in 3 years. Most of the people who are going to own a PS3 don’t have one yet.

  19. #19 by Sporty on February 1st, 2008 [ 95 Points ]

    I’m not saying it isn’t a cool ‘what if’ idea Darrin, just saying no way in hell is it ever going to happen in this cycle.

    Ps3 is now break even, they’ve outsold 360 last quarter, returned the gaming sector to profitability and are projected to stay profitable, and continue to outsell 360 this year. The last thing they want to do is segment their hardware base to cater to a very small niche who will use open source free software, probably run emulators playing games free and ripping BD.

    Stringer would be brought out back in Sony’s parking lot and shot in the head for screwing up the PS3 after it started to get momentum.

  20. #20 by Sporty on February 1st, 2008 [ 95 Points ]

    Or you could be right, who knows.

    I’m just going off what I heard, they Sony goal is to get PS3 price under 360s by the end of the year and remain profitable, and adding ram seems to make no logical sense in that goal.

    And keep in mind PS3 doesn’t use DDR, it uses XDR which is a hell of a lot faster and more expensive. So even adding another 256M could add upwards of 100s million to an annual production costs even in whole bulk rates.

    Lets just say XDR costs $50 for 256M, probably a bit low but still. Sony projects to make 15M units in fiscal 08. That would increase PS3’s annual production costs by an additional $750,000,000.

    To me, that doesn’t seem like something they would want to do unless they wanted to stay at a high price point and only cater to a small crowd.

    Call me crazy, but I don’t think it’s likely.

  21. #21 by Darrin on February 2nd, 2008 [ 17143 Points ]

    What lame meager ambitions. Break even? Squeeze out a modest profit? Bah!

    Think big. For less than $20 of RAM, Sony wouldn’t merely beat Microsoft in the console wars; if done right they could singlehandedly break Microsoft’s stranglehold on the entire desktop operating system market.

  22. #22 by John on February 2nd, 2008

    I agree with Darrin, for a small cost, Sony could payback MS for they cash handouts in the HD war (the billions MS poured into subsidizing HD-DVD in an attempt to stall BluRay).

    Lots of people use a PC only for web browsing, mailing, photo printing/retouching and the odd office doc. All these tasks are comfortable under Linux.
    Where Linux sucks is gaming, but that wouldn’t apply here as this Linux machine would *also* be a PS3 gaming console.

  23. #23 by Sporty on February 2nd, 2008 [ 95 Points ]

    This thread seems to lack complete reason Darrin.

    Not sure if you know what your saying or your just screwing with me on purpose.

    “For less than $20 of RAM, Sony wouldn’t merely beat Microsoft in the console wars; if done right they could singlehandedly break Microsoft’s stranglehold on the entire desktop operating system market.”

    So you think Sony should spend $20 on crappy over the shelf RAM that would slow down and completely change the way games run, costing Sony nearly a half of billion dollars in the process just to get Linux out to a few million people

    Basically, sacrifice their company to not even put a dent into the desktop market. Unless your projecting that this Sony new “WebTV” player will break through to 300 million users. Apple and Linux already have adoption rates far higher then even Wii has.

    I’m sorry, I thought when you first mentioned the ram you were serious. But if what your saying now is true then no point continuing this discussion.

  24. #24 by Darrin on February 2nd, 2008 [ 17143 Points ]

    If PS3 added PC RAM, it would have to be addition to, not instead of the specialty high-speed memory that the PS3 already uses.

    I’m very serious. If they preinstalled Linux or something similar like Solaris, and put the right apps on it, and supported it well, and marketed it correctly, this would be a runaway hit. Itt won’t take over the PC market, but it would be a solid hit, and break Linux out of niche status.

    John is right: LOTs of people want a nice, simple PC. The PS3 has a way nicer form factor than most PCs, has some real cool tech (Blu-Ray), and some people (not all) really want an alternative to Vista.

  25. #25 by Glitch on February 2nd, 2008

    Darrin, if Sony do as you suggest, a lot of people (that is almost everybody who so far will have bought a PS3, will be truly pissed off).

    I can’t imagine that enough people would want to buy the new version with extra for it to become economically feasable. I also believe that not only would a lot of potential PS3-buyers be turned off by the new hardware-improved PS3 and instead buy a Wii or Xbox360, because how long would it take Sony to make another “better” version? This means that Sony would lose this generation.

    I also believe, that come PS4, almost nobody would be buying it, because they were all expecting Sony to come out with another hardware-improved version soon after. Which probably also means that Sony would lose the next-nextgeneration.

    I just can’t see the logic in your statement. If you want to buy an upgradeable computer, go buy an upgradeable computer.

  26. #26 by Sporty on February 2nd, 2008 [ 95 Points ]

    I have to agree with Glitch.

    Darrin, one thing I think your overlooking is Linux and Apple adoption rates are far higher then Vista. Or any Stand alone console could every hope to archive.

    Linux isn’t a niche market in business or governments. It IS on a PS3 though.

    Selling a PS3 to only cater to the HTPC market doesn’t make any sense due to the fact that PS3 is already capable of playing most media straight vanilla. Having it serve as a WebTV would be a failure. And having it server as a PC replacement wouldn’t bring in any profit since the software can’t be sold, they would have to survive off hardware sales along.

    PS3, 360 and Wii combined is a very small drop of water in the ocean compared to PC base. So even if PS3 did come in a whacked out configuration like you want and sold 300 million units making it the best selling console in history it wouldn’t be enough to overthrow the desktop market.

  27. #27 by Darrin on February 2nd, 2008 [ 17143 Points ]

    So, users would get bitter from buyer’s remorse? I can see that happening in other situations, but not this. This is completely new functionality, and existing PS3 users wouldn’t be left out at all.

    Linux is already big for server and business use, but for personal desktop use, it’s definitely fringe.

    Who would buy an ugly Dell for $800, when you could buy a smaller, quieter, more attractive PS3 for $400 that can do the same PC stuff (web, word processing, photos, light programming) and also plays PS3 games and Blu-Rays?

    Sorry, I’ve probably talked on this too much. Thanks for responding though, I still think it’s a cool idea and I’m glad to hear what others think. I’ll put up a new topic.

  28. #28 by Sporty on February 2nd, 2008 [ 95 Points ]

    Linux PC already costs less then PS3s, thats the problem.

    Sony wouldn’t make any money selling the hardware. Linux software for the most part is free.

    You last post seem like your describing what PS3 Linux can already do. Marketing a PS3 with any added hardware would take a large hit on production costs. Sure they could add crappy DDR but to pool it together would slow down the XDR and require major hardware modifications.

    And just because you can find it for $20 doesn’t make it cheap. Go to Newegg, order 15 million units spread it out over 4 quarters and that’s what it would up the production costs on just that one part.

  29. #29 by Darrin on February 2nd, 2008 [ 17143 Points ]

    Sure, you can get a cheap, crappy looking Linspire Linux PC right now. That lacks three things:

    1) A big stable name. Computer buyers are scared of obscure brands like Linspire. They want something that is supported, will work correctly, isn’t going to break, and comes from a company that they believe will give that. Sony has this.
    2) Style. People want a stylish system. Linspire isn’t cool. Your typical brand X PC isn’t cool. The PS3 is *very* cool.
    3) Unique features/software. A Linspire PC can do all the basics well with Firefox/OpenOffice/etc, but it really doesn’t do anything better than Windows to justify being on a fringe system. A PS3 has *awesome* unique fetaures: Blu-Ray, Home, PSN, and lots of amazing games.

    PS3 can do Linux right now, but to really take off they need a few things:

    – More RAM. Sub-256MB usable RAM simply doesn’t cut it. 1GB is really minimum for regular desktop usage.
    – Fix video card issues. Linux use should have full 3D capabilities.
    – Pre-Configure System. Mainstream consumers won’t buy a PC if they have to manually download the .iso and install/configure themselves. The system needs to be preloaded, fully supported by Sony, with all the basic apps ready to roll.

  30. #30 by Sporty on February 3rd, 2008 [ 95 Points ]

    I’m not talking about Linspire. That is crap IMO $200 Ubuntu Linux PC are available at Wal-Mart. you can order

    I really don’t know why we’re still talking about this. You asked in the OP is Sony is preparing improvements like more ram and crap. We all basicly know the Slim isn’t really coming out this year. Just a White model, larger HDD and a few price cuts this year.

    Now we’re on this long discussion as to whether Sony will add more RAM and sell it as a PC replacement.

    Logic and reason say they wont. No money in it, it would costs more then a PC, segment the market even further. Some Devs are pissed at Sony for trying to market it as a multimedia machine more then a game console. Sony wouldn’t want to futher push SquareEnix away.

    This discussion a fantasy what if? Or are you really thinking Sony would unlock Hypervisor mode, risk mod-chips that same week, piracy on the PS3. Further BD rips on the net, fracturing the userbase, turn off developers, kill off the Playstation brand. And raise the hardware costs all to only sell at no profit to make barely anyone happy.

    I’m done with this discussion really.


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