When is a PlayStation 3 Super Slim not a PlayStation 3 Super Slim? When it's The New PS3.
Allow me to explain. The piece of hardware under review here is the third major incarnation of the PlayStation 3 console. Hard drive sizes aside, the original model came in a few different versions under the hood, but we've only had two versions of the case design so far.
The original "Fat" model was followed by a "Slim" model, although Sony never referred to them as such. So as soon as rumours of an even slimmer case started bubbling under, it was dubbed the "Super Slim" model. Again, Sony hasn't referred to it in these terms.
So what's so different about this new PS3 model then? As you may expect, its a bit slimmer than the previous one, it's also a bit less deep (from front to back when the console is lying down). This adds up to a reduction in size of about 20%. There's also a reduction in weight of about 25%.
None of which really matters to you when you're playing games as long as you can find room for it under your telly. Similarly, the weight doesn't matter unless you're planning on hanging it from the wall.
There are three major changes with respect to gaming that you will find with the new PS3: the hard drive, the Blu-ray drive and, in certain markets, the internal flash memory. The cables and controller you get with it are exactly the same and, as we noted in our unboxing video
, the new PS3 still doesn't come with an HDMI cable.
The hard drive is simple. There's a 500GB version everywhere and a 250GB version in most places outside of Europe. As usual with PS3s, the hard drive is user-changeable, although you'll have to hunt for it since the manual gives you no clues as to its location. Hint: it's in the end without a rubber stopper covering an attachment point for a vertical stand.
The Blu-ray drive is another matter. The new PS3 has a top-loader rather than the previous models' slot loading drives. However, this isn't a pop-up top-loader like the slim PS2. This drive has a sliding cover that opens from right to left, or top to bottom if the PS3 is standing up.
The cover can be moved by hand if you wish, there's also an eject button to do the work for you, but there is no software eject from the triangle button menus in the Xross Media Bar (XMB) interface. In addition, you have to close the cover by hand, which can be a bit fiddly if it's upright, and the PS3 won't start reading a disc unless you do.
I can't comment on the utility or performance of the 12GB flash memory version of the new PS3 since the unit Sony provided us with for the purposes of this review is a 500GB hard drive version. However, I'd expect the flash memory to be quicker to access than the hard drive.