Gaming and tech blogs have been abuzz this month with chatter of an alleged new model of Sony's popular gaming console, the Playstation 3.
Dubbed the Super-Slim Playstation 3 when it was first discovered by the Brazilian tech website Technoblog or, more recently, the PS3-4000 by sites like VG247, the console has still not been officially confirmed by Sony itself.
According to the VG247's reports, the stock levels for Sony's current Playstation 3 build are too high for Sony to move onto what is probably the last take on PS3 before PlayStation 4 is announced next year. But despite this lag in new information amidst a flurry of rumors, some details about the PS3-4000 have been established.
The new reports confirm rumors raised last week that Sony will be unveiling a new, cheaper model for the PS3-4000 that is much smaller than the four current slim PS3 sizes-120, 160, 250, and 360 GB. Having only 16GB of flash memory, the device is rumored to cost as little as $150, though many game journalists deem this unlikely. It's more likely that Sony will look to bundles and other retailer incentives to make the price attractive, MCV's report states.
Either way, the new 16GB is a clearly attempt on Sony's part to rival Microsoft's current 4GB model of the Xbox 360. Priced at $199 (closer to $300 with the Kinect), the latest Xbox 360 model helped Microsoft make significant inroads last year into establishing its console as a cornerstone of home-entertainment rather than solely a place of refuge for hardcore gamers.
While the significance of global sales figures for the three major consoles is still under debate, Sony appears to be taking its cues from Microsoft's success for its last PS3 model. Speaking late last year in an exclusive interview with Official Playstation Magazine, Sony's European Leader Jim Ryan admitted that the company was hoping to take the console towards a younger demographic in the final life-cycle of this console generation. Cutting cost by trimming both memory and physical hardware, the reasoning stands, can only help market a cheaper, simpler console to a younger audience. If you look back at the history on PS1/PS2, Ryan continued, the vast majority of the business that we did on both those platforms was done at sub-£129 [under $200] price points.
The PS3-4000's design will feature a flip-lid disc input in addition to low-capacity storage to offer the console at the lowest price possible. In addition to the 16GB model, 250GB and 500GB models have also been rumored. The Playstation 4, or possibly Playstation Orbis, is rumored to have a release date in 2013.