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The Worst Kept Secret
By Chris


In an industry rife with rumors, speculation, and leaks, this week’s announcement of the existence of the PS3 slim may take the cake as gaming’s all-time worst kept secret. I even thought about writing a Top Five Worst Kept Secrets article but I think I’ll keep lists in the domain of my co-author. She’s pretty good at them.

Regardless of Sony’s inability to keep any kind of wrap on the news of the PS3, it is welcome none the less. Perhaps even greater than the fact that they’ve reduced the size of the system is the fact that they have also, finally, dropped the price. More on that in a bit.

For those of you interested in the stats, Kaz Hirai (yes, that Kaz Hirai) announced that the PS3 slim will be 32 % smaller, 36% lighter, and consumes 34% less power. Granted that those are significant percentage drops, it’s worth pointing out that 30-odd less percent of a lot is still…well…a lot. The Playstation 3 is physically a behemoth in most ways so don’t expect something that you can put in your pocket and easily bring over to a friend’s house.

It also comes with a 120 Gb internal hard drive. I’m pretty sure that gaming systems are single-handedly keeping discount hard drive manufacturers in business. “We can’t seem to figure out how to make anything over 150 Gb, even though our competitors are in the 1.5 Tb space”, one such company was heard to remark. “Hooray!”, replied Sony and Microsoft. Nintendo asked, “What’s a hard drive?”, and then proceeded to become distracted by a shiny object.

Now for the really good news: the price of the PS3 is dropping to $299…even for us Canadians. That’s effective immediately, even for what we can now all affectionately refer to as the remaining ‘PS3 Fats’. This was a move that was long overdue. It used to be that the PS3 was the cheap way to get a Blu-ray player. Since standalone Blu-ray players went from being twice the price of the PS3 to half the price, it was time for a little catch up. Not to mention the fact that the console was running in the neighbourhood of double the price of their competitors.

I would expect that the price drop will result in a spike in the sales of PS3s in the coming months but I also expect to see a sustained increase in sales well into the future. I base this bold prediction on the fact that all previous fat-to-slim console revisions have resulted in the ‘like hot cakes’ qualifier being added to the word ‘selling’. We need only look to the PS3’s predecessor to see evidence of this, not to mention perhaps the most effective of all such modifications: the Nintendo DS to DS Lite. The DS Lite became so ubiquitous that Nintendo essentially dropped the ‘Lite’ modifier and wanted us all to forget that there even was a another version out there.

There’s another fairly important similarity between the PS3 Fat-to-Slim and Nintendo Fat-to-Lite transitions: nothing really changed. When you get down to the nitty-gritty of it, the system is the same. It doesn’t have any new great feature to really make you say ‘OK, now I have to buy one’. I guess the fact that it won’t cost you $50 a month in hydro, or ‘electricity’ as non-Canadians call it, anymore to keep the damn thing on is worth it. You can use that money to buy yourself a new game! Wait, no, the price of games has gone up…sigh…you can’t win ’em all.

I can’t wait to buy one of these when our launch day PS3 inevitably dies.  Also, Nintendo has a whopping 512Mb of internal storage.  512>160.  So….  yeah.  Take that.

2 Comments • Comments RSSTrackBack URI
  1. kdogoblingbling
    2009-08-27 12:35

    Will the slim PS3 also be $299 or is Sony simply trying to clear inventory levels of the fat PS3? I read, from iSuppli, that the new PS3 will cost Sony roughly $449 to make, down from $690 for the old model, and that the chipset on the new PS3 (made in 65nm instead of 90nm) is more powerful than the old one, so it should be a bit faster. Maybe i’ll pick one up if I get a TV.

  2. Prince of Space
    2009-09-08 14:24

    Congratulations on the PS3 slim and the price cut causing massive PS3 sales world wide this week. Up 999% in the UK and something like 7350% in Japan this week. Ridiculous. If I had the cash I’d get one, but then I’d feel pressured to upgrade my television and then get a new stereo system and the next thing you know I’m driving KITT around the city talking into a Dick Tracy wristwatch and watching movies on Star Wars holograms.

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