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GamesCom 2009: It may be one of the most expected announcements of the year, if not ever, but taking to the stage in the official Sony press conference just before the official opening of GamesCom in Cologne, Sony boss Kazuo Hirai confirmed the PlayStation 3 Slim.
No surprises there, but what was pretty shocking was the speed with which Sony plans to have the PS3 Slim on shelves – promising global availability in the first week of September, though exact dates will vary by country.
Speaking at the show, Kazuo Hirai said that it was hugely important for Sony to not “just follow the existing patterns of the industry” and commented that the PS3 Slim indicated Sony’s attempt to set its own patterns.
We got a quick chance to have a look at the PlayStation 3 Slim and it certainly manages to live up to its name, proving a notable reduction on the monolithic PS3 original – even if most of that comes from just eliminating the curved surfaces. According to official figures the PS3 Slim will be 32 percent smaller, 36 percent lighter and use 34 percent less power than the existing PlayStation 3 models – though Sony wouldn’t stray into the specifics of the hardware. It also does away with the shiny finish, favouring a new matte feel.
In regards to the retail specifics, the only SKU of the PS3 Slim that was actually announced was the 120GB model that Sony had on show.
Commenting on prices, Hirai said “the number to bear in mind is 2...9...9”, later elaborating on his double-talk to reveal a launch price of 299 Euros and 299 USD. We tried to wrangle a UK price out of the PRs in the after-party, but smoother talkers than we proved an insurmountable barrier. Speaking in the official announcement however Hirai did say that the 299 figure would also be applied to other PS3 models.