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PlayStation (Games) Sony Entertainment Games

Sony Announces PS3 Slim, Price Cut, Improvements To Home 427

Sony's press conference today at the Gamescom convention was full of announcements. They officially revealed the PS3 Slim, which will be 36% lighter and 33% smaller than the normal PS3. It will come with a 120 GB hard drive and list for $299 when it hits retail stores in early September. Normal PS3s will drop to that price as well starting tomorrow. (Unfortunately for Sony, their unveiling was spoiled a bit by several retailers jumping the gun on new advertisements, not to mention the rumors that had been swirling for weeks ahead of time.) Sony also announced a PS3 firmware update as well as new features and customization options for Home. In addition to that, the PS3 and PSP will be getting a digital reader service. At launch it will bring access to Marvel comic books, and will expand from there. They didn't talk much about their upcoming motion control scheme, but promised more details next month at the Tokyo Game Show.
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Sony Announces PS3 Slim, Price Cut, Improvements To Home

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  • No Linux Support? (Score:4, Informative)

    by alphan ( 774661 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @02:48PM (#29109467) Homepage

    "Removal of 'Install Other OS' feature

    The new PS3 system will focus on delivering games and other entertainment content, and users will not be able to install other Operating Systems to the new PS3 system."
    http://www.scee.presscentre.com/Content/Detail.asp?ReleaseID=4842&NewsAreaID=2 [presscentre.com]

    Sony abandoning Linux on new skus means they are effectively doing the same for the old ones.

    Epic failure.

  • by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @02:51PM (#29109503)

    Considering that PS2s are still selling (strangely) well and getting new game releases, it's unlikely Sony will restore BC (even if only software emulation) to the PS3 platform. We'll probably see it return around the time they EOL the PS2 platform completely (once the PS3's successor is out.)

    Although I'm not sure that holds water, at least if they're still selling the PSOne, which I think they are...

  • by geminidomino ( 614729 ) * on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @02:56PM (#29109573) Journal

    Just seems like they are shooting themselves in the foot by not offering backwards compatibility with the PS2. The PS2 has a huge library and dominated the console market for its generation.

    They did on the early models. They yanked it out of a later revision (a month before I was going to buy one, amusingly enough).

  • by Xtravar ( 725372 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @02:59PM (#29109629) Homepage Journal

    Find a used CECHA01 (that's the serial number that has hardware backward compatibility).

    Yes, I now own two PS3's. The CECHA01 runs a little hotter and slightly noisier, but I mostly fixed that by changing the thermal paste on it - heck, the warranty was void anyway.


  • Re:No Linux Support? (Score:4, Informative)

    by ivan256 ( 17499 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @03:07PM (#29109743)

    No doubt they *can* make it stop working on my existing PS3 if I choose to install their update. But it doesn't say anywhere that they are planning to remove it. I highly doubt they are, since the cost of maintenance on leaving it there is zero.

  • Re:No Linux Support? (Score:3, Informative)

    by timster ( 32400 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @03:12PM (#29109809)

    Not really surprising... they used the same pattern with the PS2. Announce during the pre-release hype that there will be Linux, and you get a bunch of pundits and gullible geeks talking about how it's going to be taking over from the Real Computer. The actual possibilities with the Linux kit end up limited and forgotten, little more than a technical curiosity.

    When the hardware gets updated later on, the Linux kit doesn't as it was only part of the pre-release marketing process. Expect the same thing with the PS4.

  • by Dr. Manhattan ( 29720 ) <[sorceror171] [at] [gmail.com]> on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @03:14PM (#29109827) Homepage
    The 'fat' PS3's price is being cut to $299 and it retains the "OtherOS" feature. The press releases says "users will not be able to install other Operating Systems to the new PS3 system" [emphasis added]. (It's also not clear yet how hard it'll be to upgrade the HD in the 'slim' model, if it's possible at all.)

    I've got Linux on mine, but I haven't had a chance to use it much. The annoying thing is that there's no real equivalent to a bootloader. If you set it to boot Linux, it will always boot to Linux until you boot the PS3 "Game OS", at which point it will always boot Game OS until you explicitly change it again. Makes it annoying to experiment with when the kids use it, too.

  • by _xeno_ ( 155264 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @03:19PM (#29109903) Homepage Journal

    So, new changes coming to Home. More customization options. More places. Neat, I guess.

    Except for the part where they apparently think people are willing to pay $0.29 for a pair of shoes that no one is going to see. Likewise the $5 to buy a new "personal apartment" that basically no one except yourself is ever going to see. (Sure, you can invite friends over to your virtual apartment but, really, how much is it worth to have your virtual self live in the Ghostbusters station?)

    Not to mention the charges on logo-ed shirts. I can't remember prices, but I think those were in the $0.50-$1 range. So I'm expected to pay money to be a walking virtual advertisement. Sure...

    If the Home avatars had any use outside of Home (like the Miis and the Xbox Live Avatars) I could almost see the more pathetic fanboys paying money to dress them up in a T-shirt with a Ghostbuster logo on it. But $0.50 for a virtual shirt that can only be seen in a single virtual space in which there is essentially nothing to do? Please!

    Last time I checked (which was a month ago, so not terribly long ago) PlayStation Home was still just like this Penny Arcade cartoon [penny-arcade.com]. The only difference I found from the beta last year is that the stores now actually sell something rather than being completely empty.

  • Re:No Linux Support? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @03:26PM (#29110007)

    To play *NEW GAME* you have to update your firmware... or Game installs new firmware when you load it without you knowing about it

  • by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @03:35PM (#29110143)

    I've got one of the ones with hardware back-compat.

    Unfortunately I bought it in the far east and live in Europe.

    So it won't play any of *my* old games library. Damn them.

  • Re:No Linux Support? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @03:43PM (#29110273)

    1. There is only one Cell in a PS3
    2. You had access to the main cores and all but on of it's vector processing units
    3. The GFX chip is what was cut out.

  • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @03:51PM (#29110383)

    Er...you can't buy PS2 games for non-compatible PS3s through the PS Store because the lack of PS2 compatibility means you can't play them. You can buy PSX games through the PS Store, but you can also play PSX games right from the disc (if you still have your old copy) on *any* PS3. The real gyp is that you can't play old PSX games on your PSP, because the PSP has no way to read the discs. For that, you really do have to buy them again from the PS Store.

  • by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @03:52PM (#29110401)
    Sure, the PS3 Slim is nice. But what I find interesting is the PSP Digital Reader Service. The (very brief) article mentions that Sony is teasing about extending it beyond comics by the end of the year. Not coincidentally, that's also when they plan to have their eBookstore migrated over to the ePub format. [slashdot.org] Considering the iPhone/iPod Touch are among the most used digital book-reading devices, and the PSP has a screen resolution that's similar, this could be a very wise move. Assuming this actually happens, you'll also have the ability to buy new releases directly from the PSP using WiFi (something that many people are wishing for in a new Sony eBook reader). Interesting times ahead...
  • by Lulfas ( 1140109 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @04:10PM (#29110645)
    Launch PS3 used an Emoticon Chip. Essentially, they cheated and hid a PS2 under the hood. It was NOT done with software.
  • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @04:13PM (#29110697)

    No, the original PS3 actually had all the hardware of a PS2 built into it to provide compatibility; no software emulation. Then they removed most of the hardware and did software emulation, and then the current models removed the rest of the hardware and provide no compatibility at all. Europe was the most out of luck here; no hardware-compatible PS3 was ever released in PAL format, although they did get a software emulation model.

  • My experience with using a PS3 in standard def resolution was eye-strain inducing, trying to read many of the text fonts the games would display.

    This was precisely my experience before I bought a HD capable monitor. Next gen games are quite simply unplayable on anything less than 720p.

    However, the big problem here is that Last gen games are unplayable at anything above 576p! OK slight exaggeration, but old games do look awful on a HD TV. Aliasing everywhere. And therein lies the biggest reason that Sony and Microsoft need to keep up backwards compatibility. I can tell you that PS2 games played on a PS3 instead of a PS2 look a hell of a lot better. It's like night and day. Add to this the convienicen factor, and I'm pretty irritated with Sony for dropping this feature and refusing to reimplement it. There are still loads of fantastic PS2 titles I haven't played, and more are still coming out!

  • by Talderas ( 1212466 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @04:40PM (#29111129)

    The problem exists with XBox 360 as well, Dead Rising was a PITA to read text on.

    However this is indeed an issue. I couldn't read most test for GTA4, my minimap in Dynasty Warriors 6 was fuzzy and practically useless. I had to pause to look at the largest battlefield map to get an idea of what was going on. A lot of things became a lot cleared when I went to a HDTV.

  • by MeatBag PussRocket ( 1475317 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @04:41PM (#29111153)

    I want to be able to do more than read Comic Books with a reader program. I want to be able to read PDF, ODF, RTF, HTML, CHM, and other formats that eBooks come in.

    If I buy a PSP or Slim PS3, I want an educational value for it as well as a gaming one. I want more than a Language Tutor program or BrainAge, I want to be able to read eBooks as well.

    I am sticking to a PS2...

    last i checked the PS2 has none of those features. if you're serious about using a gaming console for education i actually think the PS3 is about as close as you'll get. in addition to the obvious of being able to teach somebody the basics of running linux from the command line, since its the only console with a blu ray you can get the blue planet series on BD its an incredible documentary that is full of education.

  • by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @05:09PM (#29111481) Journal
    "PS3 really isn't "standard def. TV friendly".... My experience with using a PS3 in standard def resolution was eye-strain inducing, trying to read many of the text fonts the games would display."

    I use a ps3 on a 5 yr old reasonably-sized SDTV and you couldn't be more correct. It is a HUGE pain to try to play any games with small print. PixelJunk Monsters [gamespot.com] is almost not playable because your character is too small to see, and you can forget trying to read any subtitles or instructions. I keep looking for a way to increase text size or change the screen size but it seems everything is set-up properly to display in SD, it's just the way the games display.

    I'll probably get a HDTV within the next year so it's not a huge deal, I really bought the ps3 to play one particular game and that works well, and lately I've been using it for Hulu and the seemingly endless supply of free game demos so I'm satisfied.
  • by mrdoogee ( 1179081 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @05:10PM (#29111501)

    There is a way to run a PS1 disc in your PS3 and stream it to your PSP over LAN/Internet.. .Location free player is the util, I believe. It does have (especially over the internet) some major latency issues though.

  • by dns_server ( 696283 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @05:31PM (#29111731)

    For you in America and Europe yes they did that but not in Australia where it was done in software.

  • by Jophiel04 ( 1341463 ) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @07:15PM (#29112757)
    The HDD is user-upgradeable as confirmed by engadget [engadget.com]

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"