Review: The new PS3
24th Sep 2012 | 13:22
Here's a true story. My house was broken into a few months back and the majority of my electronic stuff was stolen. Xbox 360 - gone. Wii - gone. iPad, DS, digital camera, laptop - all nicked. The only thing that remained was my chunky launch day PS3, which was in its stand upside-down.
It's clear that the burglar picked it up, thought "stuff that" and put it back down again. When your console is so heavy that a burglar won't take it off your hands and will happily risk getting caught by leaving behind a fingerprint magnet like a phat PS3, it's safe to say perhaps it could be a little smaller.
PS3 Super Slim release date: 28 Septebmer 2012 | PS3 Super Slim price: From £185 (12GB)
The PS3 Slim was a step forward, but now Sony has gone one step further with the slimmest and lightest PS3 model yet, dubbed the PS3 'Super Slim'. It's even smaller and even lighter than the previous Slim, but ultimately looks and feels just slightly less impressive as a result.
The first thing you'll notice when you take the Super Slim PS3 out the box is obviously its size. If the chunky original was the before picture in a weight loss ad and the Slim was the after, then this is that same picture having been Photoshopped to remove any of the excess flab. In short it's an impressive feat, especially when compared to the debut PS3, and the new model weighs less than half the original too.
The second thing you'll notice when you open up the new PS3 is that just like previous models, you don't have a HDMI cable; out of the box purchasers receive the console, a DualShock 3, power cord, standard AV cable and USB lead.
Set up and switch on the new PS3 and it works as you'd expect. Copying your data over from your old system is easy (assuming you remembered to use the transfer option while your previous system was set up), and only one update was required when we first got our PS3 online (taking it from 4.15 to 4.25).
Log in with your PSN ID and all your previous purchases can be found in the Downloads section of the Store, allowing you to re-download stuff you've bought before at no extra charge.
Quieter fans, noisier disc tray
While the performance differences between the Super Slim and the Slim are minimal at best, the system fans are thankfully much quieter than the original chunky PS3.
While leaving the original PS3 on for a few periods could eventually result in the system heating up and fans kicking in big time (causing your living room to sound like Heathrow and feel like a boiler room), I turned the 'Super Slim' on at 7pm on Friday night, left it on downloading and installing stuff all weekend, and it was still deathly quiet by Monday morning having been on for well over 50 hours.
Even after lengthy sessions of more processor-intensive activities (such as a six-hour session on a digital version of Darksiders), the system remained pleasingly quiet.
However, thanks to the method the new PS3 reads physical disc games, the system isn't totally silent. The new physical game mechanism is essentially a sliding tray on a loose catch, and when you press the eject button on the side of the system it snaps across (see it in action in this new PS3 disc tray video). The rattling noise that accompanies it is clearly the trade-off for the smaller, theoretically cheaper model.
With only a small covering protecting the disc, the grinds and whirrs of the disc reading process can also often be heard clearly while you play, especially if you use your console in a quiet room with the speakers low. It's no way near as noisy as those fans on the original PS3, but still a potential stumbling block for those searching for whirr-free Sony gaming.
Those who haven't experienced the PS3 yet will in all honesty find a good deal from either of the slim models.
However for the reasons above, if you already own a Slim PS3 then I don't think the 'Super Slim' is worth the second upgrade - especially since the 500GB Super Slim costs around £40 more than the 320GB Slim, and for around the price of a 12GB version you can easily find an older model with far more storage.
The new model is clearly cheaper to manufacture, but Sony doesn't seem to entirely be passing that on to gamers just yet.
If you're still rocking a launch day chunky system, then it's worth considering - especially if you're fearful that it's on its last legs or sick of those noisy fans sounding like a space shuttle launch.
By far the people who will get most out of the upgrade are PlayStation Plus subscribers, since the 500GB storage means you can download the entire "instant game collection" that kicked off at E3, along with all the free games and such paying members get every month.
Since they're all downloads the system remains quiet as a mouse throughout and even better, picky burglars will never be able to take your gaming catalogue away from you.