Gut Reactions: PS3 Slim reveal, Sony GamesCom Press Conference

GameSpot editors offer from-the-hip analysis of the new cheaper console, PSP comics, PSP Minis, and how Sony's other announcements will affect the games industry; PS3 Slim unboxing video inside.

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Today in Germany, Sony dropped some game-industry bombshells at its press conference at the 2009 GamesCom expo. Chief among them is the new PS3 Slim due out next month--a new version of the PS3 that's lighter, consumes less electricity, and, most importantly, is cheaper, at a price of $299 US, €299 in Europe and £249 in the UK. The current PS3 models each had $100 shaved off of them: effective tomorrow, the 80GB PS3 will be $299 and the 160GB PS3 will be $399.

In addition, the company announced new online service features and new developments for the PSP, including a comic-book reader application and a brand-new format for PSP games: PSP Minis. These cheaper, "snackable" games must be under 100MB and will be sold only via download, with the first titles being Sudoku and Tetris from Electronic Arts.

To make sense of the news avalanche, GameSpot editors now offer their gut reactions to Sony's announcements--and how they'll affect the now-white-hot console wars.

Ricardo Torres | Editor in Chief

Ready to rumble...finally.

It's nice to see Sony coming to the party with a price cut and a really solid hardware configuration. The new PS3 slim announcement, although not the best-kept secret in the world, along with the other bits of info Sony gave out at its German press conference, is showing the fighting spirit people have been expecting for a while. The global price cut, the new PS3, and the PSP Minis were all good to see.

The PS3 price cut makes a direct comparison between the PS3 and Xbox 360 easier, which should make things interesting later this year. At this point, the PS3 looks like a better deal on paper, with built-in Blu-ray, built in Wi-Fi, and a 120GB hard drive you can upgrade if you want. On the other hand, the Xbox 360 has Xbox Live and Marketplace, which still overshadow the PlayStation Network in terms of content. So we'll just see how this plays out by the end of the year. There are lots of really good reasons to buy a PS3, so personal preference (and probably several boatfuls of marketing dollars) may be what determines which system winds up winning the hearts of shoppers this holiday season.

Comics on the PSP? Hell yes.

The PSP Minis stuff sounds neat, I just want to see some of these games in motion. Hopefully our crew at GamesCom will get their hands on some and bring us news. Oddly enough, I'm more excited about the comic reader for the PSP. What? I'm a comic nerd and I travel. Being a comic nerd means I sweat the condition of my comic books. You think I'm going to lug around mint-condition books on a plane? Hell no. Digital comics to take with me? Hell yes. Now I just want more publishers on board. Marvel's cool, but where are DC and the indies?

It was also good to see some new PSP games announced. I'm really curious to see what's being done with Eye of Judgment. I actually liked the original and wouldn't mind a portable version for some card battling on the go. The only blemish to the PSP news is the price of the Go. It would be great if there were either an 11th hour price reduction or...a free Gran Turismo PSP like they're doing in Europe.

Overall I'd say Sony's headed, albeit belatedly, down the right path (if you shrug off the PSP Go's $249 price tag). Now that the playing field is more level, it's going to come down to content, and there's some really outstanding exclusive stuff coming to the PS3 in the coming months. Here's hoping things keep rolling next month at TGS.

Andrew Park | Managing Editor

Sony's press conference at the 2009 GamesCom event is over, and the company has revealed a ton of new hardware and game announcements. The most interesting to me are the obvious PS3 Slim price point, confirmed for $299 US (€ 299 in Europe, £ 249 in the UK) and the announcement of PSP Minis games that will apparently be constrained to a file-size cap of 100MB.

Obviously, the PS3 price drop is great news for consumers everywhere and could be a big win for Sony by Christmas. A $300 Blu-ray player is nothing to sniff at, especially when it also plays awesome games like inFamous and Resistance 2 and will be supplemented by upcoming releases like Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. This is also a smart move for a Western consumer market that finds itself strapped for cash as a result of ongoing economic problems and makes the once-pricey PS3 seem much more accessible. After all, it's just $50 more than the Wii now.

I'd still like to see more of this on the PSP.

I'm also intrigued by the announcement of the PSP Minis, I guess partially because they were announced at a European show among the company of excellent Euro-developed games such as Little Big Planet. Even though consumers haven't always gotten the best treatment from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (considering all the late releases and higher price tags), the EU's development community has done outstanding work with Sony hardware, both for the living room and for portables.

I have mixed feelings about capping the file size of PSP Minis at 100MB--it's understandable given the PSP Go's download-only game delivery (since the hardware doesn't have a UMD slot), but I'm concerned it may constrain development for the handheld itself. The PSP is a big, beautiful handheld with a lot of power under the hood, and it would be a shame to see the game library go from top-flight games like the Soul Caliburs and the Gran Turismos to lower-quality, rush-job games that got the nod because they were cheap to produce and weighed in at under 100MB.

Tor Thorsen | Senior News Editor

Nearly three years after the PlayStation 3 was launched, Sony has finally decided to get competitive. This price drop removes the last smacks of Kutaragi hubris from Sony's marketing campaign, which began in 2006 with the presumption that Joe Gamer would plunk down $600 because the PS3 had the word "PlayStation" on the box. Despite a bevy of features, that didn't happen. Sony has been staring at Microsoft and Nintendo's hindquarters ever since--a trend Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai has apparently had enough of.

Can this wonder weapon turn around the console wars?

Now, the 120GB PS3 Slim is the best deal in video gaming, period. Even if, as rumored, the 120GB Xbox 360 Elite matches its $299 price later this month, Microsoft now finds itself soundly trumped on the feature front. For the same price, consumers get a Blu-ray player--unavailable on the Xbox, period--and built-in Wi-Fi, which costs an outrageous $100 extra for the 360. Though it lacks the Twitter, Facebook, and Last.fm integration the 360 will get later this year, the PS3 offers direct access to those sites via its Web browser. (Netflix streaming remains Microsoft's sole platform-exclusive service, although third-party apps can fix that as well.) Throw in Sony's far more reliable hardware--which is now more energy efficient, cooler, and quieter thanks to a smaller 45nm-process Cell chipset--and it's a package too attractive for any serious gamer not to own.

But now that the price playing field is leveled, Sony has to catch up in two areas. While free, the PlayStation Network remains a far less robust and compelling experience than the gold standard, Xbox Live (which, like the 360's wireless adapter, isn't free). The other is blockbuster exclusives, which, up until recently, Microsoft has done a better job of locking down, with megahits like Halo 3, Gears of War 2, and the Grand Theft Auto IV downloadable content. Following the less-than-stellar sales of Killzone 2 and Infamous, that too looks set to change with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves due this fall and God of War III due next March.

Nintendo and Microsoft, the ball is in your court.

Giancarlo Varanini | Editor-at-Large

The price cut for the PS3 is fantastic and long overdue for a system that has struggled to make major inroads--at least on the sales charts--against its competitors. And while I usually like the idea of system redesigns, the approach taken with the PS3 Slim seems to fall outside the rubric for a typical refresh. In other words, the smaller PS2 was introduced in 2004 as a means for reintroducing the system to the market and giving it new life on store shelves. Meanwhile, this new PS3 has been birthed by the need to cut costs on manufacturing in order to allow a more competitive price point.

Would this man lie to you?

The result is a design approach that goes far, but not far enough. Sure, it's ostensibly smaller in terms of volume, but it still carries a similar footprint when laid flat, and that bothers me for some reason. Of course, I'm looking at this as someone who already owns a PS3 and likes the current PS3 design, so perhaps this slimmer system--combined with a new price--is exactly what's needed for those sitting on the fence.

I'm glad that the PSP wasn't completely overshadowed by the PS3 announcement, however. The PSP Minis program sounds like a great idea for a system that has been woefully neglected by the masses despite having some amazing games released for it over the past year or so and some equally cool titles coming up in a few months. A constant barrage of PSP Minis should help keep it at the forefront in between bigger releases, and this could lead to some interesting crossover between iPhone and PSP development.

Shaun McInnis | Associate Editor

I had the pleasure of watching the Sony GamesCom press conference live and in person. It's hard to say the crowd was abuzz with speculation over what the big news of the night would be, since pretty much everyone knew the PS3 Slim was going to be announced. In fact, a temporary billboard cover across the parking lot from the entrance read "Watch this space 18-08-09" prior to the show, only to be removed later with a shot of the PS3 Slim and the phrase "It's the new PlayStation 3!" greeting those leaving the conference later in the evening. Nobody in line thought this was going to be an ad for Kolsch beer or a knockwurst sale at your local Aldi supermarket.

Surprise?

However, when Kaz Hirai took to the stage at the end of the night, the crowd still roared over the official unveiling of the Slim. You certainly can't go wrong with a new PS3 that manages to be smaller and more energy efficient than the old model at a price that's $100 cheaper. If you complain about that, you're insane--or you're someone who just bought the original PS3 last week. On top of that, the new PSP Minis store seems like a fun idea that could give Apple's App Store a run for its money in terms of light and cheap independently developed games. And while I'm not much of a comics fan, the deal with Marvel to distribute its books over the PSP seems like a neat idea as well.

The rest of the news seemed pretty heavily focused on the show's primarily European audience. A new BBC iPlayer for the PlayStation 3, a video store for the UK audience at long last, Gran Turismo PSP as a free download for people who buy a PAL-region PSP--these are things that don't really interest a Yank like me. But for the European market, I'm sure they're quite exciting. Overall, it was a surprisingly interesting show from start to finish. Nice job, Sony.

Andre Segers | Game Guides Editor

Forget the price drop. I'm pumped that the Slim now has actual power and eject buttons instead of that touch-sensitive nonsense. At any rate, the reduced price is a welcome (if completely expected) announcement. Although I still think it's overpriced for a game console, it should give the sales figures a nice kick start as we enter the holiday season, which is something the PS3 has long needed.

The PSP has buttons. Hear that, iPhone? Buttons!

The rest of the conference seemed relatively noneventful. I don't personally care about new PSP colors or using said device to read comic books. I do hope Heavy Rain comes out soon, if only so they can stop showing it at every single press conference. It was disappointing that more wasn't shown of the new PS3 motion controller, but I'm eager to see what they have in store for TGS.

That said, the announcement of the PSP Minis (despite the poor name) is exciting, as it should allow bite-sized, iPhone-style games to flourish thanks to the PSP's...what's the word...oh right: buttons (eat your heart out, iPhone). And from what was shown, it looks like the catalog is already more impressive than the entirety of the DSiWare store. Hopefully this idea will be embraced by developers and gamers alike, as it may pave the way for games more befitting a portable system than the myriad downsized console ports that currently infest it.

Discussion

1126 comments
Fred5107
Fred5107

The Slim model for the PS3 was created before the Xbox 360 slim. What does that tell you?

uglypinkmoose
uglypinkmoose

@bencarps41192 resistance games suck though lol but yeah i personally think all three consoles have games worth owning the console over even the wii

DCSchark
DCSchark

Now, I'm getting THAT! (180GB)

bencarps41192
bencarps41192

jeffv541 Quote "Great job sony, now make some decent games." What do you mean by make some decent games. They have many "decent games" that most people consider great. Uncahrted 2 is the leading one, it will most likely get GOTY. Uncharted 1. We then have Killzone 2 and the Resistance games. MGS 4 guns of the patriots. God Of War collection. Infamous. GOW 3 comeing out soon. Mag next year. It also has Valkyria Chronicles. Demon Souls Then it has Mod Nation comeing out soon. Not to mention all the games it shares with xbox. AC 1 and 2. MW2, Dragon Age etc. Trust me they have the many "decent" games covered. I didnt even mention all thre good games also.

jeffv541
jeffv541

Great job sony, now make some decent games.

Rexx8089
Rexx8089

i like the slime system the old one is too heavy and gets scratched easily but i love my ps3 and i'll buy the slim should the old one dies.

Trogeton
Trogeton

Love sony, they have NEVER disappointed me... powerful, long lasting consoles, with a great selection of games, in both home and portable areas not even with the VERY first playstation.. sony always gives people what they paid for...I still have my phat ps2 from 2003 and works perfectly 100% and has NEVER scratched my game discs

Jomichael1
Jomichael1

You gotta love sony.they come out with the ps3.Now the ps3 slim,even better.Its smaller lighter and not shiny, which means no more scratches and no more dust colectors.And plus i heard the new software was better. I hope this systems succeeds just like the ps2 did when it first came out. I just hope they come out with a gta exclusives just like the xbox 360 had.Maybe "Gta San Andreas Stories would be good".......

mocho808
mocho808

If I was going to buy a ps3 I would buy the fat one because if the fat one already freezes think about much the slim will freeze.

HectorFAO
HectorFAO

hmmm.. I got the FAtty 80gig! Im perfectly happy with mines b/c i prefer the piano finish to match the PSP's feel me? lol Slim does look good doe but fatty is better.. Idk bout the light bill and i have a perfect spot for mines!! SONY ALL DA WAY!!!

djtrauma
djtrauma

I happened to buy a used PS3 around the same time the Slim was being released, and can't say I regret it. I much prefer the design aesthetics of the original, and I can live with having to upgrade the hard drive when I need to.

garglenuffmach1
garglenuffmach1

I am a 360 owner an i think that it seems like a good buy. i mean u got a $100 price cut, 120 gb of memory, an it takes up less space. i might buy one.

joezombie15
joezombie15

The only reason i would buy this is for the super huge amount of gig space on this small machine!! but i really do hate that they took off the chrome finish :( all in all its a cool idea but it copies the ps2 way to much sony.....

KingsterX
KingsterX

d ps3...is gud in terms of price....i kinda prefer d current design...sure its heavy n its fat....but cmn...it luks gud...d glossy finish..d touch sensitive buttons....oder dan its luk n mayb d hard disk..i really dnt think thers much change....so..d point is...a person who already has a ps3 has no reason 2 buy d slim version..instead of d ps3...d psp go would b a betta choice....

Liamguy01
Liamguy01

I do think that the PS3 Slim is more for the Sony newbies, as I see no reason for people who already have PS3 to trade theirs in for a PS3 Slim.

Liamguy01
Liamguy01

YES! Sony, you rock! When I first heard about the PS3 I was ecstatic but the $400 - $500 price made me hesitate, so I just sat back and twiddled my thumbs - wait, that's not right - I mean I sat back and played my psp for about three years, and guess what - my waiting so totally payed off! My only complaint is the no backwards compatibility, but, oh well, with the killer lineup of games coming out for the PS3, it doesn't matter all that much. Team Microsofts only chance is Halo: ODST this holiday season. And I know where I'm going to be spending my PSP PlayStation store points for the rest of the year - PSP Comics and Minis were a great move for Sony. I think the only part where Sony went wrong this year was the PSP Go - no UMDs was a bad move, but 99% out of 100% ain't that bad.

Pwnd56
Pwnd56

xbox guys, halo will be here again to save ur hides, yet, don't take this personally, but bungie, i think, is close to pulling a kojima on u.

-WHATTHEDUECE-
-WHATTHEDUECE-

Andre Segers.. Seriously, clean your self up man.. you look like a greasy turd and you obviously think like one too.

sEaNNY08
sEaNNY08

i think that everytime ps3 make a new console its cheaper made everytime, like the slim has no shiney blk finishs = cheaper 2 make has, no card ports -= cheaper no chrome = cheaper no touch screen, they do anythink 2 much it cheaper 4 them 2 make its a joke. Then they dnt put the money they saved in making cheap console to get us stuff like gta4 add ons, its like they just after money that nt care bout gamers

GaMa__GaMer
GaMa__GaMer

This will be my best B-day.....they'll buy a PS3......

TheUndisputed9
TheUndisputed9

if the ps3 is following the same pattern as ps2, we should get a ps4 or something in 2012

Ace-Killer
Ace-Killer

Finaly my prediction became true, ever since the ps3 came out i knew they had to make a slim version just like the ps2. So guess wat im going to buy it : )

hemoleech
hemoleech

If they made more games for the PSP, it might have better competition with the DS.

CthulhuFhtagn0
CthulhuFhtagn0

I'll be getting this after the holidays for sure. The lack of backwards compatibility sucks, but...I still have my ps2 so no biggie. Guess I'll just use my extra $100 to buy a really sweet surge protector so I can plug them all in at once : p

Seik666
Seik666

rebfaction Posted Sep 6, 2009 4:06 pm PT ''Yap ps3 slim froze again to day Assassin's Creed two times is because of over heating or is the ps3 slim 120g just a piece of crap. Iam taking the ps3 slim back to the store get my money back.'' Wow I can't believe you changed your big one for a slim in first place. And the freeze problems are related to the update not the console, you react way too quickly!

spike120
spike120

I hope that the playstation 3 will also be cheaper in Canada.

Trickymaster
Trickymaster

I own a Xbox360 and I really don't like the design of the PS3 slim. It looks way cheaper than the original and you cannot boot Linux on it which is another drawback.

Vampiro_HuntT3R
Vampiro_HuntT3R

Fanboyism is $h|t. Seriously. I mean c'mon. People who say $hit about other consoles should not call themselves gamers. We buy consoles and play games. That's all. Then why fight over such stuff? I personally like Sony products, because their products are much more reliable than any other company and everyone knows that. But I don't go around saying $hit about other consoles. Everything has their own pros and cons. But I want to buy a 360 as well. Even though I know the hardware is not that "worth" it but I still want to get it. Not because of any other reason than that I want to play exclusives of 360. I am more into PC than consoles. But I still like PS2 and PS3. Because I know they will last long. I have had my PS2 for more than 8 years now. And it's still fine. I have heard a lot of bad things about Xbox and Xbox 360s. But that doesn't stop me from wishing to buy a 360. I want to play every good game in the market. Whether it be on PC, PS3 or Xbox 360. So, seriously, abusing other consoles (that you prolly can't afford to buy; yeah like me) makes you a ret@rd and an idi0t and all such type of words (like..M0r0n, yeah and and and...errr..I dont know. I was not included in the ret@rd and idi0t part. hehe). :D

Andyrew007
Andyrew007

Im glad that sony have finally come to their senses and lowered the price of the PS3. Im gonna wait a few months to see if any problems arise then I might get a slim.

rebfaction
rebfaction

Yap ps3 slim froze again to day Assassin's Creed two times is because of over heating or is the ps3 slim 120g just a piece of crap. Iam taking the ps3 slim back to the store get my money back.

rebfaction
rebfaction

I gave away my ps3 60g and I got a ps3 slim I was playing Assassin's Creed and the game froze two times and crashed Tomb Raider Underworld three times I never had that problem with my old one. So in order for Sony to drop the price of the new ps3 slim $299 did they also cut cast in to production the ps3 slim. Am I happy with my dissension I don't know is it the ps3 or the games it plays my other ps3 games no problem. Anyone else have the same problem.

mike12431
mike12431

Whats wrong with Andre? overpriced my A$$! thats an amazing price for what you get. Why would'nt he care for the price drop if he said its overpriced??

bjamesw
bjamesw

i just have to say, i wouldn't surprise me is something happened like RRoD for the new PS3 Slim, seeing as it happens to the more cheaply made Xbox systems...but hopefully Sony won't be letting such a horrible thing happen to their new baby. And besides, what will we call it? "The Red PS of Death"???

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Sony are so gonna win the Xmas sales battle (well they'll beat MS anyway)!

Emale
Emale

If you have the money get a recent 360 on the cheap, the older ones will kick your backside the way they fail! As for the new Slim one word, sweet! The one I got has been put through the pace's and has passed with flying colors! No BC is ok with me as I have PS3 60g for that as well as a PS2. The heating issues that some of you might fear aren't really a problem with the Slim, make no mistake it does get hot but nowhere near as hot as the PS3 fat got! That thing is a space heater lol! Plus I have to add if you do pick up a Slim buy a stand (around $25 I think it was), and find a good stable area to place it vertically with no obstructions to it's air flow. Remember smaller dye chip sets can't take a brutal buildup of heat no mater how well they are built!

Jay_48601
Jay_48601

I have had a 360 for about two years. I'm about to ship it back to Microsoft to fix the RROD problem for the second time. With the PS3 Slim being a reasonable price, I'm going to switch to that. The 360 is okay, but just about every game that I have is also on the PS3 (don't really care too much about Halo or Gears of War). I also hate the idea of having to pay so much for wireless functionality (not to mention paying so much for XBox Live) The BlueRay and web browser has me sold on the system. I just hope that it's as reliable as the normal PS3. Microsoft has dropped the ball with the 360 IMO and they will feel it with Sony's decision on the PS3 Slim.

LAX_SHARK
LAX_SHARK

i would wait and see if that ps3 has any bugs or it doesnt work as well or better than the older ps3..... love the price drop though!!!!!!!!!!yesssssssss u xbox is wakkkkkkkkkk

shadowysea07
shadowysea07

when ever i get hte money i'll get a ps3.

MrSmarties
MrSmarties

i actually like the new slim design, plus the new plastic looks like it wont get scratches since mine got quite a bit( im still wondering how tho). Sony should of done this a while ago then everyone will have a ps3 but lol but i guess technology wasnt that good back then. It only takes a couple years to make something more advanced and cheap.

oskuuu
oskuuu

finally! next month ill go get myself ps3 slim =)

Malhound
Malhound

Xbox 360 might have a slimmer one.

Malhound
Malhound

The rest is finally over! The slim PS3 extreme begins!

stevern
stevern

Yes! Patience pays off! And I was starting to look at a new 360 but now that is clearly a waste of money. It looks dull on the outside but the awesomeness of the hardware and games beats the crap out of the 360.

Jomichael1
Jomichael1

Personally,the new ps3 design looks like crap,i like my 80 gig ps3 better,but they should have made a better design.