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Sony’s John Koller Answers Questions About PS3 Slim |

Speaking to Arstechnica, Sony’s John Koller confirms you can remove and upgrade the HDD in the PS3 Slim and that backwards compatibility will not be re-appearing in any future PS3 models. There also won’t be an external power brick with the system, although there still seems to be some confusion over this. Read the full Q&A below:

Is this the standard system moving forward?

“This will be the hardware moving forward,” Koller told Ars. “Right now with the 80GB we’re selling down inventory, and this will replace that model.” The 160GB system was always intended to be a limited-time deal. And if you want to buy right now, go aheadโ€”Koller told us the price drop on systems on the store shelves now is effective immediately. We went to the phones to check on that, and most GameStops in our area were not aware there was a price drop in place.

The point is made, though. This isn’t a slimmed-down model, or something that is going to be sitting next to the older systems for long. This is the new face of the PS3, and will soon be the only hardware configuration available at retail.

Can you still upgrade the hard drive?

“Yes, you can. It does not void your warranty. In fact, we encourage it,” Koller told us. He explained that the drive is now located on the front of the system, not the side, and changing out your hard drive will still be easy. “It’s a two-screw process,” he explained.

Don’t worry about being stuck with “just” an 80GB hard drive. The ability to install your own hard drive is still there, and Koller seemed enthusiastic about people modifying their systems in this way.

Will there be a power brick?

“This is a new power cable; it uses a third less power.” Koller answered. He then listed the three big changes made to the hardware: the power consumption has been decreased, the cooling system has been redesigned, and the Cell processor has moved from a 65nm process to a 45nm process.

He also told us that there will be a power brick, although we can expect it to be small. He laughs when I ask about the power brick’s size in relation to the 360’s power supply. “It’s nothing like that,” he assured Ars. There will also no longer be a power button on the back of the hardware; it has instead been moved to the front. [Update: after watching a few unboxing videos, it actually doesn’t look like they’ll be a power brick. There must have been some confusion on this question.]

Why was the ability to install Linux removed from the system?

“There are a couple of reasons. We felt we wanted to move forward with the OS we have now. If anyone wants to use previous models and change the OS, they can do so.” Koller said. “We wanted to standardize our OS.”

Do we need to stop yapping about backwards compatibility?

“It’s not coming back, so let me put that on the table,” Koller says with an air of finality. But it’s all people ever talk about!
“It’s not as big as a purchase intent driver as you may be hearing,” he claimed. “We’ve got such a substantial lineup of titles on the PS3; most people are buying the PS3 for PS3 games. They’ve buying it for PS3 games and Blu-ray movies.”

“That won’t be returning,” he repeats.

How many logos does one system need?

There is the multicolored logo that has been with the PlayStation since the first system, the logo that even Koller referred to as the “Spider-Man Logo,” and the new PS3 logo seen on the top of the new system. So which one should we be paying attention to?

“We’re in the process of replacing the Spider-Man font to the PS3 logo. [The new design] will be the logo moving forward, that will be in place on the hardware and peripherals and software, starting with Uncharted 2.”

The older PS logo on the front of the system has been changed from the multicolored design to silver. Koller says that decision was made to standardize the logo across all the territories the PS3 is sold.

Will Kmart be punished?

Koller laughs at the question. “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” he said. “We value all our retail partners. They just got a little excited.”

Sony is likewise clearly excited about the new design of the system and the price drop. “We expect a material and substantial increase in sales and purchase intent,” Koller told us. Is a $300 system with a smaller design enough to get gamers excited about the PS3? We’ll see, starting in September.

I disagree with him stating backwards compatibility isn’t a big “purchase intent driver” for gamers. A lot of people are seemingly holding out on buying a PS3 because of the lack of backwards compatibility with PS2 games. We’ll see if the price cut on current models and the new PS3 Slim will increase sales on a regular basis, rather than producing a short term spike in sales. I’m hoping for the former…

Sony’s John Koller Talks PS3 Slim with Arstechnica

  • Long time no post Gary ๐Ÿ™‚

    To bad about losing the BC for good. To be honest I’ve only used my PS3 to play PS2 games a few times. But it’s nice to have that option.

    I wish they put the USB ports on the back of the PS3 Slim. Maybe 2 in back, 2 in the front. I need all 4 usb ports myself. And I do actually use the memory card slots on my 60GB PS3 all the time.

  • Lol @ the Kmart being punished question.

  • Yup, it has been a while and I love the new look! Excellent work Tosh. ๐Ÿ™‚

    You make a good point about having USB ports in the back. It would prevent wires from sticking out all over the place, especially for people that use the PS Eye or Play TV a lot.

    I think backwards compatibility is a big deal for current PS2 owners who haven’t yet upgraded to a PS3. Ideally I’m sure they’d prefer to have one machine under the TV that plays their back catalog of PS2 games and PS3 games, rather than having to switch between two machines. Sony clearly disagree and I can understand why.

  • JimmyMagnum

    meh, i rarely ever touch my BC on my 60 gig. I use to back when the PS3 first came out and it didn’t have any games. In all likelihood, most people who would buy the PS3 because of BC would probably stop using it down the road because of great PS3 games coming out and them not having the time to really pop in a PS2 game and play it. Then again, there’s alsways that chance that the PS3 could make a downloadable version of popular PS2 games like the 360 has with the original xbox titles (and currently PS3 has with PS1 titles)

  • Trieloth

    “A lot of people are seemingly holding out on buying a PS3 because of the lack of backwards compatibility with PS2 games” ???
    I beg to differ. How many people even talk about PS2 games any more? Humm ZERO. How many post hear have we seen of any of the PS2 games that have come out..? I still buy them(PS2 games) as a matter of fact I bought Eternal Poison today. I almost over looked it because nobody talks about PS2 games. So how is it important?

  • Well this is a PS3 site so the need for people to talk about PS2 games is far less likely to happen, if at all, than on multiformat games forums that I do read and post on quite regularly.

    There are loads of people that say they have been holding off from buying a PS3 in the hope that backwards compatibility with PS2 games would be introduced. The reason they never bought a 60GB PS3 in the first place was because of the high price point.

    These are valid reasons for some people not having made the switch to PS3, like it or not and they are important to them.

  • Stephencr

    I think the backward compatibility is not an upgrade of the hardware but the firmware

  • It was hardware based for launch day 60GB PS3s and they removed that chip from the newer models. There was talk about using software emulators (?) for backwards compatibility but this hasn’t materialised so far.

  • JimmyMagnum

    back in June, Sony filed a patent that will emulate PS2 games via Cell-based emulation, so it’d definitely be software based and if it comes to fruition, it’ll be 99% likely that it would come from a firmware update making it possible for all PS3s to be backwards compatible again. Here’s the original post:

  • Trieloth

    Oh I see , people on some web sites make BC important, my bad.

  • No different from people on some websites making BC un-important. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • mcloki

    If backwards compatibility was such a big deal you would have bought the original 60 gig.
    Anyone that is complaining about the PS3 not having BC is “full of it” they’re complaining for the sake of trolling a message board. Or just Xbox fans boys. If you’ve got PS2 games, you must have a ps2. Did IQ’s suddenly drop. Hook it up and use it. The PS2 is $99, go buy it.
    And if you really must have a PS3 that has BC. Go ebay it.
    Die complainers Die.
    From the German.

  • JimmyStewart

    Huge bummer about the backwards compatibility. I was disappointed when MS stopped adding bc for titles… and I’m incredibly bummed about this now. I honestly thought Sony would eventually be able to have a pretty big feature over the 360 with this.

    And mcloki, no need to take such offense to people wishing for a pretty useful feature. I bought a launch 60gig console, the 3/4 USB ports are now entirely broken. I’m scared to send it in to be repaired in case they send me back an “updated” console that removes the backwards compatibility.
    I have PS2 games. The majority of which I bought AFTER buying my PS3. I bought them because Sony constantly touted how they were the only console to provide complete backwards compatibility. They used it as a selling point, and I took them up on it.
    As for my PS2, with all that going on I passed it along to my sister. She still uses it quite a bit and it’s become a “family console” for her. I’m not about to ask for it back. And as it is I don’t have room for another console in my entertainment center… I’ve got three shelves already full with a Tivo, a 360, a PS3 and a Wii! Something would have to go to put in the PS2.

    So with that in mind, I’d say you’re the troll here. Just because you don’t want a particular feature doesn’t mean the rest of us are crazy for wanting it. It was a big selling point of the PS3 to me, and it was going to be a big selling point of the new slim. I was intending to swap out at least one of my PS3 with a slim. At this point I’m really not so sure.

  • Trieloth

    Agreed Mcloki. If its that important you can find a BC PS3. If you have a high Def TV (especially 1080p) you will NOT want to see them butt ugly PS2 poly’s anywho. The only games that look decent are the 2-D games and you still will want to play a newer game.

  • Stephen

    As long as Atlus and other small publisher still publish on PS2, BC is important to me.

    I have the launch 20GB model with BC. BC was the main reason I bought it near launch. I am happy I can enjoy Persona 4 and Yakuza 2 (Both 2008 games) on the PS3 with upscaled definition. It just doesn’t look as good playing these games on my HDTV with just a PS2, even with component cable.

  • Gibb

    BC could return if the PS2 phases out.