Sony unveils slimmer, cheaper PS3 consoles

New Sony PS3

Sony is hoping to boost sales of its PS3 console by launching a pair of slimmer versions.

One model will have 12GB of flash memory, making it the cheapest PS3 to date, and will be joined by a 500GB hard drive version. The latter will cost approximately the same as the old 320GB model.

Sony says the revised models are less than half the size and weight of the original PS3 launched in 2006, and a 20-25% reduction on the previous models.

"By adopting a sliding disk cover, the new PS3 retains its the characteristic sleek curved body design," says Sony.

Buyers of the 12GB flash memory unit can expand the storage capacity by connecting an optional 250GB hard disk drive (HDD) to be released alongside the new model.

The 500GB version will go on sale on 28 September in the UK and the 12GB device on 12 October. Exact prices remain to be confirmed, but the 12GB model, which is exclusive to Europe, is likely to sell for €229 (around £180).

The 500GB version should be approximately €299 (£240).

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.