updated 01:30 am EDT, Wed September 19, 2012
Unit smaller, lighter than previous models
Sony has taken the wraps off of its newest model of the Playstation 3 at the pre-Tokyo Game Show press conference. The new model is 25 percent smaller and 20 percent lighter than the current PS3, and comes in three hard drive storage capacities -- 250GB and 500GB hard drives, or 12GB flash storage.
The 250GB version will be available September 25 for $269, and includes Uncharted 3 and a $30 digital content voucher for free-to-play DUST 514. A 500GB capacity model can be purchased on October 30 comes bundled with Assassin's Creed III for $299. The 12GB flash storage model is a European market exclusive, and will be available on October 12 for €229 ($299). None of the models has hardware or software Playstation 2 backwards compatibility reinstated, despite gamer community requests and previous rumors.
Also from the Tokyo Game Show, Sony is adding the PlayStation Plus service to the PlayStation Vita in November. Similar to the PlayStation 3 version of the service, a selection of free downloadable games will be provided to subscribers, with cloud-based game save storage.
The Playstation 3 originally debuted in 2006 at a cost of $600 in North America, but was replaced with a "slim" version that currently sells for $250 in 2009. Including a revision of the original console that was rolled out in late 2007 and 2008 as well as the "slim" version, this marks the fourth generation of the PS3, and the first where the base model has seen a price increase (up $20 from the previous model).