Today is a big day in PlayStation land. The slimmer PlayStation 3 is official, the system only costs $299.99 as of tomorrow, there are bite-sized games coming to the PSP, and digital comics are a reality.
What a time to be alive.
With the dust still settling around all of these announcements, SCEA Director of Hardware Marketing John Koller sat down for a quick chat with IGN about all things PlayStation. Now, you can listen to the entire segment Thursday on Podcast Beyond, the premier PlayStation podcast on IGN, but to hold you over, I broke out a few of the more enthralling bits.
What does the slimmer PS3 mean for Sony's bottom line?
"The redesign does kind of places us on a path towards profitability," Koller said citing the smaller size of the Cell chip, the fact that the system is lighter, and so on. "All of those things kind of lead to a better place in the cost of goods."
Should I wait for a crazy PS3 Slim bundle or larger hard drive?
Nope. There are no bundles or larger hard drive pairings currently planned.
Is backwards compatibility coming back?
"No plans right now," Koller said. "To be honest, there's such a substantial lineup of PlayStation 3 game discs now that we feel the consumer is more apt to be playing the PlayStation 3 games when they purchase the PlayStation 3."
When are these Minis -- bite-sized PSP games -- coming to the PlayStation Network?
Minis will be on the store and ready to October 1st -- the launch of the PSPgo.
What's the deal with these PSP comics?
Well, the prices and launch date are unannounced, but there should be more than 1,000 titles ready when the Digital Reader program goes live. Although Marvel was announced as a partner today, discussions are ongoing with publishers.
"We really see this as important," Koller said.
The redesigned PlayStation 3 introduced this week at Gamescom confirmed over three months worth of rumor and speculation, dropping nearly a third of the weight and size of its predecessor and adding some extra power efficiency via its completely redesigned components. Sony may have been tight lipped about the technical specifications of the new system, but that didn't stop IBM spokespeople from revealing that the new PS3s are packing 45-nm cell processors that are 34 percent smaller and drain 40 percent less power from the system.
Before the PS3 Slim was even rumored, rumblings of a chipset swap began to stir in February, which has now manifested itself in the redesigned PS3. In addition to the added power efficiency and space saving design, the 45-nm chipset may also be improving the overall speed of the new PS3.
We haven't had an opportunity to run any benchmark tests on our new PS3, but we'll keep an eye out for any notable speed bumps.
No sooner had Sony publicly announced its new trimmer PlayStation 3 hardware when a new report shows up stating that there's a very real possibility that the company could be planning to release a 250GB version of the new machine.
IGN reports that an FCC test report details a new PlayStation 3 (slim line) SKU bearing the model number of CECH-2001B which is seen to have a 250GB hard drive.
As spotted by PS3News, Sand Dollar Enterprise, Inc. filed the report, but the company shares the same building address as Sony's Foster City office. The report was also represented by Riley Russle, SCEA's General Council (lawyer). So it looks like Sony tried to hide the FCC filing through a different company name.
It's possible this model may never be released. But given the frequent amount of new hardware bundles with increased storage space we've seen so far this generation, don't expect Sony to sit on their 120GB version for too long.
While it is unknown at this time if and when this new 250GB model may hit the streets, it's worth noting that early adopters of the new PlayStation 3 hardware might want to hedge their bets and wait a little longer to see what drops.
New Ps3 Slim Info + UnBoxing