Play Station 3 Super Slim

Posted: January 15, 2013 by Areeb Fazli in Technology
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sony is to launch a new smaller, lighter version of the PlayStation 3 console.

Half the weight and volume of the original machine, the update will be available in two specifications: one with a 500GB hard drive, which launches on 28 September, and the other, a budget version, arriving on 12 October with a 12GB flash memory.

Originally launched in 2006, the PS3 was redesigned in 2009 and has now sold in the region of 66m units worldwide.

The new version retains the curved styling of its predecessors and once again features a Blu-ray drive for playing high definition movies as well as games.

Owners are also able to use the hard drive to store photos and videos as well as digital games. Buyers of the limited 12GB flash version will be able to attach an external hard drive to boost capacity if needed.

Like Nintendo, Sony will allow stores to set the retail price for the new super slim consoles. However, the 500GB model will retail at €299 (around £240), while the 12GB option, which is exclusive to Europe, will come in at €229 (around £180).

Sony will also be making a range of bundle deals available in the run up to Christmas featuring titles such as Fifa 13 and Assassin’s Creed 3, as well as the company’s Wonderbook augmented reality reading peripheral.

Launching a refreshed machine with an “entry-level” option just before Christmas will suggest to many in the industry that this is the seven-year-old console’s last hurrah before the announcement of a follow-up at the E3 games conference in Los Angeles next June. Rival manufacturer Microsoft is also expected to reveal its successor to the Xbox 360 at the same event.

Sony announced the new machines at its press conference proceeding the Tokyo Game Show on Tuesday night.

The company also confirmed that its PlayStation Mobile platform will launch on 3 October. The service offers PlayStation certified games on compatible Android handsets and tablets.

Smallest PS3 yet

The PS3 Super Slim is 20 percent smaller and 25 percent lighter than the previous model. It measures 11.4″ (W) x 2.36″ (T) x 9.05″ (D).

Cracking Open Observations

    • Redesigned Blu-ray drive: The new machine’s optical drive has a manual sliding disc cover instead of a motorized slot-loading mechanism. This design likely helped Sony cut both costs and save space, but it just feels cheap and as Bakalar wrote, it’s “ultimately a step back.”
    • Repositioned HDD: The original PS3’s hard drive was accessed through a panel on the side. Sony moved that access point to the front on the PS3 Slim. And now, they’ve gone right back to the side. But on the Super Slim you remove the whole side panel and not just a small cover.
    • Smaller power supply: Like the optical drive, the new machine’s power supply is smaller than the PS3 Slim’s. It’s also rated for fewer Amps, so the new console appears to be drawing less current than its predecessors.
    • Smaller fan that’s more difficult to remove: Unlike the PS3 Slim you can’t remove the fan without removing the whole motherboard assembly and then separating the shield from the motherboard. Given the Super Slim’s more compact design, it’s not surprising that the cooling fan is smaller than the one in the larger Slim.
    • More compact motherboard, new components, same overall specs: Compared to the PS3 Slim’s board, the Super Slim’s board is smaller and the chips are placed closer to each other. Sony also removed  he heat spreader from the Reality Synthesizer package, swapped Marvell’s discreet wireless board for a newer Marvell WLAN/Bluetooth SoC, and went with two 1Gb XDR DRAM chips for the machine’s main memory instead of older machine’s four 512Mb chips.

Why launch a redesigned PS3 now?

After cracking open this console, it’s clear, and a bit disappointing, that Sony wasn’t trying to upgrade the PS3 line with the Super Slim, merely refine it. I relaize that radically changing the hardware could compromise game compatability, but I would have loved an extra 512MB of video/system RAM. So that begs the question, why would they do this

I think the decision comes down to the unit’s production cost. The new optical drive, redesigned motherboard, and all the other changes likely make the console cheaper to manufacture. And, given that Sony hasn’t lowered the price (at least not at launch), they’re making more on each unit sold. If they do lower the price later this year or definitely once the PlayStation 4 is released, the lower production cost let’s them keep making money on the PS3.

Internal Hardware

Our PS3 Super Slim had the following internal hardware components:

    • Sony Cell Broadband Engine CXD2996BGB
    • Sony RSX CXD5302DGB 220B25NA “Reality Synthesizer”
    • Hynix 64MB (536,870,912 bits) H5RS5223DFR-14C GDDR3 SDRAM (x4)
    • Sony CXM4027R MultiAV Driver (CXM4027R 221N26E)
    • Panasonic MN8647091 HDMI transmitter
    • Marvell 88EC060 Fast Ethernet PHY transceiver
    • Samsung 1Gb K4Y12324TE-KCB3 DRAM (x2 for 256MB)
    • Sony CXD9963GB Southbridge
    • Sony CXD5132R-1 Blu-ray drive SATA controller
    • Spansion S29GL128P90TFIR2 NOR Flash
    • Marvell Avastar 88W8782 WLAN system-on-chip (SoC)
    • Panasonic CR 2032 3V system battery
    • Sony IDT 9277BNLG 1133L
    • Winbond 25Q16CVY05 1221
    • Fairchild FDMF6823C Extra-Small, High-Performance, High-Frequency DrMOS Module (FDC25AV FDMF6823C)
    • Sony SW3-302 system controller
    • BD7761EFV 224 T76
    • 217 3536A
    • Texas Instruments PS53123
    • Intersil ISL6332 2 Phase VR11.1 Buck PWM Controller with Integrated
    • MOSFET Drivers with Light Load Efficiency
    • Sony IDT 4227ANLG
    • Texas Instruments PS53123
    • Sony Model APS-330 12V, 18A power supply
    • Delta Electronics KSB0812HE DC12V 1.65A fan

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