The Sony PS3 Super Slim is the gaming brand's latest console and it's cheaper and slimmer that its predecessors. We went in for a closer look
With the Nintendo Wii U set to launch before the end of the year, the guessing game of when the PS4 and Xbox 720 will turn up still goes on.
The appearance of the Sony PlayStation Super Slim console at the 2012 Tokyo Games Show is a clear sign from Sony that there is life in the current console yet, and arriving just in time for the festive rush it clearly has the Xbox 360 and the next generation Nintendo console in its sights.
The third console in the PS3 cycle, the Super Slim has a look inspired the original, but packs many of the same features as current models, so is it really worth trading up from the Sony PS3 Slim? T3 takes a look.
PS3 Super Slim: Build and design
Looking liking a chopped down version of the monolithic-looking original PS3 but with a ridged midriff, Sony has introduced a new top loading disc tray that slides from right to left manually or can be released by a button situated on the edge of the console.
Sony says it has completely redesigned the internal PS3's design architecture, and reduced the internal volume and weight of the new console by more than half when compared to the first PS3.
In terms of dimensions, the Super Slim is the same width as the first Slim (290mm), but significantly smaller than the original PS3 (324mm). At 230mm long and 60m high it's been generally downsized from the Slim and weighing in at 2.1kg, it's noticeably lighter than the first PS3 (5kg) and Slim (3.2kg), making easier to carry around in your bag.
Like the original PS3 and Slim you can replace the hard drive but this time round you can simply slide off the side panel of the console, and put in another SATA hard drive if 500GB isn't enough for you for some reason.
The Super Slim definitely has a much cheaper feel compared to previous models and with the disc loading tray at the top, it's not exactly entertainment centre friendly, so prepare to clear some floor or table space to position it.
PS3 Super Slim: Features
Inside the box you'll find the console, a matte black DUALSHOCK 3 wireless controller with AV and USB cables and the same AC adapter as the PS3 Slim. Disappointingly you'll have to hunt out (or more likely buy) another HDMI cable.
On the console itself, there's the standard two USB ports at the front with a system storage access indicator. Around the back you'll find ports for the AC adaptor, AV Multi Out, Digital Out (Optical), HDMI and LAN connections.
Mammoth 500GB storage aside, it's much the same in terms of internal components with the same Cell Broadband Engine CPU and RSZ GPU and you can expect Blu-ray compatibility with 3D gaming support, an XMB interface that hasn't dramatically changed over the years and the usual access to movies, TV shows, music and much more via PlayStation Network and Sony Unlimited services.
PS3 Super Slim: Performance
As anyone who has owned the original PS3 can testify, the cooling fan can be quite noisy particularly when watching a Blu-ray or DVD.
Thankfully that was addressed with the Slim and the Super Slim follows suit. With the optical drive now much closer to the surface you are able to hear the sound of discs booting up and spinning to load which is noticeable the closer you are to the console.
There's not much to report in terms of loading times between the three consoles. We tested a copy of FIFA 12 and a Blu-ray copy of Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists and despite the need for the usual software updates, all loaded up at similar speeds.
One thing we did notice during Blu-ray playback mode was that virtual controls now look bolder making them easier to view from a distance which is a small but welcome change having had to squint from afar with the previous models.
PS3 Super Slim: Verdict
Who is the PS3 Super Slim going to appeal to? Well, if you already own a PS3 Slim there's no real reason to want to swap consoles.
The build feels cheaper and while it might be slightly smaller and lighter, it's much the same in terms of performance and features while the durability of the top loading tray is a concern. There's a 12GB SSD storage option that could appeal to some as it promises quicker loading and game download times.
If you're still holding onto the first PS3, we would still probably opt for the first Slim over this homage to the monolithic first console simply because the price cut is not that generous in comparison unless you go for the 12GB model which brings the price under the £200 mark.
The Super Slim it seems is Sony's way of signing off the current console in the hope that it can shift a few more units before the rumoured PS4 arrives, but there's simply not enough to convince us that the third PS3 console is a more attractive purchase than the PS3 Slim.
PS3 Super Slim release date: Available now
PS3 Super Slim price: £229.99 (500GB), £184.99 (12GB)