There’s no denying the appeal of slim consoles. Taking once-stunning hardware and condensing it into a smaller, leaner package is a testament to the craft of reengineering and redefining; so much so that many deem it worthy of picking up the console again. But a second slim reboot? Not so much.
The new PS3 slim marks the first console triple dip in almost over 15 years, the last being Sega Genesis 3. While the Genesis 3 was a stripped-down budget console made by Majesco for those looking to pick up cheat carts, the PS3 is a full blown redux. When released later this year, it will even carry a similar price tag; $269 for the 250 GB or $299 a 500 GB — same as the current slim. While the Slim v.2 looks nice, outside of nixing the rounded corners, it’s hardly distinguishable from the current slim. With a 25% size difference, the footprint isn’t even much less. Going from first generation hardware to something sleeker and smaller is near-magical, but riffing on the already-improved design is hardly provocative.
If the PS3 Slim v.2 added new features, even something as seemingly minuscule as bit-streaming HD audio as the Slim did, an update would be understanadble, but all that’s been done here is a small design tweak and (optional) bigger hard drive. With the release of the PS4 looming, the slim redux ultimately seems like a final cash-grab to milk what’s left of the PS3 before its soon rendered outdated. If it were a substially lower price, Sony would deserve praise for attempting to bring those previously financially prohibited to own a system into the fold, but with near-exact price and specs, it’s simply a case of trying to create excitement for an old product instead of releasing something fresh.