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PlayStation (Games) Entertainment Games

A History of the Shrinking Game Console 107

After Sony's announcement of the PS3 Slim earlier this week, CNet took a look back at size-reducing hardware revisions over the past couple decades in console design, noting that they're gradually arriving sooner and sooner after the initial release. "Does that mean it'll creep even lower, into two-year or even yearly cycles between major revisions? Quite possibly, yes. It's worked very well with handheld gaming devices, and even some consumer electronics devices like iPods. Apple has turned out slimmer, more powerful versions of the iPod every year since 2001, and yearly events like E3 put continued pressure on console makers to show off something big. In the case of the PS3 Slim though, it could just be that the PS3 had to be pushed out to meet its launch window, and that the Slim is what Sony was going for in the first place. Advances in the PlayStation 3's core technology, like the cell processor, also underwent changes since the console launched, including changes to fabrication that have taken the chip down from 90 nanometers to 65, then 45 — the size that can be found inside the Slim. These changes meant less power consumption, smaller components, and easier cooling."
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A History of the Shrinking Game Console

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  • by simm_s (11519) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @12:06PM (#29164467) Homepage

    The NES went on a diet in the early 90's [] as well. I am surprised that CNET missed that!

  • by faragon (789704) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @01:08PM (#29164963) Homepage
    It is not just a hardware revision, but implies also cuts in software: Remember that Sony has cut the possibility of running Linux in the new PS3 "Slim" model, disabling the "Other OS" boot option, because of the costs of programming new drivers for virtualizing the new I/O devices through the hipervisor.

    Extra-official reply from Sarah Ewen, a Sony employee: []

    BY: sarahe
    DATE: 2009-Aug-21 22:23
    SUBJECT: RE: Why no Linux in PS3 Slim?

    Hi aragon,

    I'm sorry that you are frustrated by the lack of comment specifically regarding the withdrawal of support for OtherOS on the new PS3 slim.

    The reasons are simple: The PS3 Slim is a major cost reduction involving many changes to hardware components in the PS3 design. In order to offer the OtherOS install, SCE would need to continue to maintain the OtherOS hypervisor drivers for any significant hardware changes - this costs SCE. One of our key objectives with the new model is to pass on cost savings to the consumer with a lower retail price. Unfortunately in this case the cost of OtherOS install did not fit with the wider objective to offer a lower cost PS3.

    We'll see if we can get the offical OtherOS page updated with something to this effect so that an official explanation is provided. Thank you for your comments.


  • by bhtooefr (649901) <bhtooefr&bhtooefr,org> on Sunday August 23, 2009 @02:23PM (#29165525) Homepage Journal

    Actually, MOST consoles. (This'll be US-centric, here.)

    Fairchild VES -> Fairchild Channel F System II
    Atari VCS -> Atari 2600 Jr.
    Mattel Intellivision -> Mattel Intellivision II
    Nintendo Entertainment System -> Nintendo NES-101
    Sega Master System -> Sega Master System II
    Nintendo Game Boy -> Nintendo Game Boy Pocket
    Sega Genesis -> Sega Genesis 2 -> Majesco/Sega Genesis 3 (and that's not even counting the Sega Nomad)
    Nintendo Super NES -> Nintendo SNS-101
    Sony PlayStation -> Sony PSone
    Nintendo Game Boy Advance -> Nintendo GBA SP -> Nintendo GB Micro
    Sony PlayStation 2 -> Sony Slimline PS2
    Nintendo DS -> Nintendo DS Lite
    Sony PlayStation 3 -> Sony PS3 Slim

    And that list is far from exhaustive. :)

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Sunday August 23, 2009 @02:35PM (#29165597) Homepage Journal

    I completely agree that smaller is better for portable gaming systems but hate the fact that there is this belief that console based systems have to be so small.

    The price of urban real estate in Japan makes the Wii's footprint look a lot more attractive.

  • by macshome (818789) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @02:39PM (#29165635) Homepage
    The PS2 was largish as well, but the PSX was noticeably smaller than the Saturn.
  • by JoshLowensohn (1623443) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @03:03PM (#29165821)
    As the article's author I'll chime in to mention that there's a big note at the very beginning of the article (before we go into the individual systems) that says we're only going back three generations. If we had continued to go back, the original NES along with the various Atari iterations would have been included. Cheers.
  • Re:Bad comparison (Score:2, Informative)

    by Ant P. (974313) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @03:09PM (#29165887) Homepage

    After all, it's the same stuff, just more efficient.

    It's not the same stuff. In keeping with Sony's customary behaviour of cutting more corners with every hardware revision, this time around they've gone and removed the dual-boot ability.

  • by bmatt17 (1494941) on Monday August 24, 2009 @02:07AM (#29170089)
    you have no clue what you're talking about. The PSPGo is nothing more than a optical driveless PSP. All games for the PSP are now being released in downloadable form via the PSN. They aren't releasing PSPGo exclusives it's the same thing, except you download all your games. The PSP go is exactly like the PSP as far as what games you can play.
  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Monday August 24, 2009 @04:39AM (#29170821) Journal

    Well then you're reading the wrong articles, I've owned a 360 and a PS3 and the noise difference is night and day, so much so I'd suggest you're trolling or ignorant.
    The PS3 is VASTLY quieter than a 360, it's effectively silent unless it's a hot day where it's mildly noisy (and still less than a 360)

  • by fyrie (604735) on Monday August 24, 2009 @10:52AM (#29173903)

    C64 -- > C64gs

    C64GS was a totally different type of market (just a console). The poster may be thinking of that, or the C64C, which was the regular C64 in a redesigned casing that looked closer to the C128.

Mirrors should reflect a little before throwing back images. -- Jean Cocteau