Smaller, lighter PlayStation 3 launching next week [Update: first product shots]

Sony has confirmed that a smaller and lighter, redesigned new PS3 SKU will be launching beginning next week…

The company is rolling out a trio of new models, with 2 of them being available in North America. We get a new 250GB SKU to replace the 160GB PS3, and a 500GB SKU to replace the current 320GB PS3. European territories will also get a model with only 16GB of flash memory on board (12GB usable). There will also be a “classic white” color introduced in the near future.

The prices have changed a bit too, or rather, have shifted somewhat. $269.99 will get you the 250GB model bundled with Uncharted 3 Game of the Year Edition, and for $299.99, you can pick up the massive 500GB model. Apparently you will be able to pick up a 250GB model, unbundled, for $249.99 at one point.

Take a look at some product shots.

Read on for the official announcement with all the details.

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) today announced that a new PlayStation 3 (PS3) computer entertainment system (body color: charcoal black / classic white*1), featuring a new design and a downsized form factor, will become available worldwide this holiday season. The new PS3 will come in 3 models including extended built in Hard Disk Drive (HDD) capacity of 500GB model and 250GB model, and a newly added 12GB flash memory model initially for Europe only.  Availability of models, prices and launch dates of the new PS3 system in each region are as follows.

Storage size Recommended Retail Price Launch Date
North America HDD 500GB US$299 October 30th
HDD 250GB US$269 (bundle only) *2 September 25th
Europe/PAL territories HDD 500GB ?299*3 September 28th
Flash Memory 12GB*4 ?229*3 October 12th
Japan HDD 500GB 29,800 Yen (including tax) October 4th
HDD 250GB 24,900Yen (including tax) October 4th

Thanks to a complete redesign of the internal architecture, the volume and weight of the new PS3 has been reduced by more than half compared to the very first PS3 model with a 60GB HDD, and by 20% and 25% respectively compared to the current PS3. By adopting a sliding disk cover, the new PS3 continues with the characteristic sleek curved body design, which fits various places in the home and enables users to enjoy an array of entertainment content.

With the extra HDD capacity which has been extended from 320GB and 160GB, users can store and enjoy more and more entertainment content including games, music, photos, and video on the new PS3.  In addition, the new PS3 with 12GB flash memory offers opportunities to experience the world of PlayStation? at an affordable price point.  Users can also expand the storage capacity of the 12GB flash memory PS3 by connecting a dedicated HDD (250GB) to be released concurrently with the new model5.  In addition, a variety of accessories will be introduced by SCE to meet various kinds of needs from users including a vertical stand that offers more flexibility in how the new PS3 can be displayed*6.

Since the launch of PS3 in November 2006, the number of BD-based titles has reached more than 3,300 titles and more than 4,100*7 downloadable PS3 games are available worldwide, thanks to support from a broad range of third party developers and publishers.  In addition to this extensive software title line-up, exciting and attractive new titles are to be released from third party developers and publishers as well as SCE Worldwide Studios, including Assassin’s Creed III (Ubisoft Entertainment.), Call of Duty Black Ops 2 (Activision Publishing, Inc.), Madden NFL 13 (Electronic Arts Inc.), PlayStation? All-Stars Battle Royale, LittleBigPlanet Karting, God of War: Ascension (Sony Computer Entertainment), and more.

SCE will further accelerate the expansion of the PS3 platform which is in the 7th year of its lifecycle, by continually releasing a vast library of exciting and attractive software titles and offering users a choice from a variety of hardware models.

*1 The new PS3 in classic white will become available in Japan from November. Other regions and countries will follow this
*2 Only PS3 system bundled with software title will become available.
*3 Prices will vary by country across Europe.
*4 PS3 with flash memory 12GB will be sold in Europe and Hong Kong
*5 When using dedicated HDD, flash memory cannot be used as inner storage
*6 Users will need to use the separately sold “Vertical Stand” to set the new PS3 in vertical position.
*7 Includes PS one? classics and free of charge content (downloadable demos).

Product Outline      PlayStation?3 (CECH-4000 series)
Product name PlayStation?3
Release date North America: September  25th, 2012(HDD 250GB)October 30th, 2012(HDD 500GB)Europe:             September  28th, 2012 (HDD 500GB)October 12th , 2012  (Flash Memory 12GB)Japan:              October 4th , 2012 
Recommended Retail Price HDD 500GB model: $299/ ?299/ 29980 yen (including tax)HDD 250GB model: $269 (bundle only)*1/24980 yen (including tax)Flash memory 12GB model: ?229
Product code CECH-4000series  (Charcoal Black / Classic White)
CPU Cell Broadband Engine?
Audio output LPCM 7.1ch, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD, AAC.
Memory 256MB XDR Main RAM, 256MB GDDR3 VRAM
Storage size CECH-4000A???:  Flash Memory 12GBCECH-4000B???:  HDD 250 GBCECH-4000B???:  HDD 500GB*2
Inputs/Outputs*3 Hi-Speed USB(USB 2.0) 2
Networking Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) ? 1
IEEE 802.11 b/g
Bluetooth? 2.0 (EDR)
Controller Wireless Controller ?Bluetooth??
AV output Resolution 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p, 480i?(for PAL 576p, 576i)
HDMI OUT connector*4 1
AV MULTI OUT connector 1
Digital out (optical) connector 1
BD?DVD?CDdrive (read only) Maximum read rate BD ? 2 (BD-ROM)DVD ? 8 (DVD-ROM)CD ? 24 (CD-ROM)
Power AC 220 ? 240, 50/60Hz*5
Power consumption Approx. 190W
External dimensions(excluding maximum projecting part ) Approx. 290 ? 60 ? 230 mm (width ? height ? length)
Mass Approx. 2.1kg *6
Included *7 PlayStation?3 system ? 1Wireless Controller (DUALSHOCK?3) ? 1AC power cord ? 1AV cable ? 1USB cable ? 1

*1 Only PS3 system bundled with software title will become available at launch timing.
*2 Hard disk capacity calculated using base 10 mathematics (1 GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes). System software versions 1.10 and later calculate capacity using binary mathematics (1 GB = 1,073,741,824 bytes), which will display lower capacity and free space. A portion of hard disk capacity is reserved for system administration, which varies depending upon system software version, and is not available for use.
*3 Usability of all connected devices is not guaranteed.
*4 “Deep Colour” and “x.v.Colour (xvYCC)” defined by HDMI ver.1.3a are supported.
*5 Power changes depending on countries or regions.
*6 PS3 with flash memory 12GB weights approximately 2.0kg
*7 For certain regions, Euro-AV cable will be included.
Note: This product is not compatible with PlayStation?2 games.

Vertical Stand (CECH-ZST1J)
Product name Vertical Stand
Release Date North America:  September  25th, 2012Europe:              September  28th, 2012

Japan:               October 4th , 2012

Recommended Retail Price North America??$14.99Europe??            ?14.99

Japan               ?  1,800yen ?including tax?

Product code CECH-ZST1
Included Vertical Stand ?CECH-ZST1? ? 1
External dimension Approx. 120 mm x 17.5 mm  (diameter ? height (thickest part)
Mass Approx. 200g
Supports CECH-4000 series
* The “Vertical Stand” is for the new PS3 system (CECH-4000 series) and cannot be used on the current model.

Dedicated HDD(250GB) for PlayStation?3 (with attachment) (CECH-ZHD1)
Product name Dedicated HDD(250GB) for PlayStation?3 (with attachment)
Release date October 12th, 2012
Recommended Retail Price ?89.99
Product code CECH-ZHD1
Included HDD 250GB ?CECH-ZS1? ? 1
External dimension Approx. 88 mm x 18 mm x 260 mm (width ? height ? length)
Mass Approx. 115g
Supports CECH-4000A
* The “Dedicated HDD(250GB) for PlayStation?3 ” is for the new PS3 system (CECH-4000A) and cannot be used on the other models.