By Benedict Wee
We all know that Sony's current-generation console -the Playstation 3- has not been as popular as its previous two iterations and is struggling with sales especially in our current economic slump. With many complaining that it is too expensive and losing game exclusivity (Devil May Cry, Grand Theft Auto and Final Fantasy etc.), most gamers have moved to the Xbox 360 while the casual/old-school groups have adopted the massively popular Wii.
So maybe it's time for a console relaunch, and what better to do it with than compacting Sony's current behemoth console into a smaller form factor. The original Playstation and Playstation 2 went though similar changes throughout their life cycles as chips were made more compact and were cheaper to manufacture, all during a time when Sony was still riding high on the healthy sales of their consoles. Perhaps a sleek looking PS3 is what Sony needs to get back their market share that they've lost to Microsoft and Nintendo.
Recent reports do point to such a revamp. Starting with Kotaku spotting a notice to Japanese 24-hour dairy chain 7-Eleven, informing them that pre-orders for the 80GB PS3s will cease on Sunday the 9th of August at 10am. The 20GB, 40Gb and 60GB versions have already been discontinued way back so it means that either a new 160GB PS3 is going to be released or a different model will be introduced.
The next telltale sign of the PS3 slim debut is tech-blog Digitimes' report on PS3 components demand is growing significantly, with an average monthly volume enough for making one million consoles in the 3rd quarter of the year. This follows the report by Kotaku with Sony revealing that manufacturing costs for their console are down 70%.
The last clue is not a very clear one but it still lends to the PS3 slim rumor, Engadget caught sight of Amazon Germany's listing for a 'Playstation 3 Konsole slim' with no release date or price. The page has since been pulled down.
The details might be scant right now but it's pretty easy to connect the dots to see what Sony is planning. Hopefully a slimmer PS3 (that doesn't look like a George Forman Grill) will come with a lower price tag otherwise I'll be sticking to my other 2 consoles.
Digitimes - Sony PS3 Components Demand Growing Significantly