Thursday, 11 October 2012

Sony PS3 Super Slim review



Sony PS3 Super Slim


The basics

Say hello to the Sony PS3 Super Slim, Sony’s third generation model of its hit PS3 games console. There’s absolutely no change to the software: it’s still a games machine with smart TV skills and a 3D Blu-ray drive. But this time round it’s smaller and lighter: it clocks in at just 2.1kg, a huge drop down from the 4.7kg of the very first PlayStation 3. Is that enough to stay relevant with a PS4 around the corner?

The good

Sony’s kept some of the best bits about the PS3 - like the easy to reach USB ports and swappable hard drive (Although 500GB will be enough for all but the biggest video hoarders) and trimmed everything down.

Measuring 290 x 230 x 60mm, the new PS3 Super Slim is as wide as its predecessor, but several inches less deep, and slightly thinner. It’s impressive that Sony’s managed to whittle it down so much, although we do wonder how much smaller still it could get if Sony moved the power brick from inside to the cable, like Microsoft does with the Xbox 360.

You won’t notice any major speed improvements over previous generations, but the PS3 Super Slim is blessedly quiet compared to the first generation PS3, which sounded like a Harrier Jump Jet taking off, even in the middle of a noisy shoot’em up.

Did we mention it’s a PS3? We won’t go into much detail about the software and games here since Sony has changed nothing on that front. The PS3 Super Slim has access to thousands of blockbuster games, and just about every video demand service under the sun. By now you’ve probably made your allegiance though, and the new PS3 Super Slim won’t change that.

The bad

The PS3 Super Slim is lighter, yes, and smaller, just. But, well, that’s about it. It’s slightly quieter than the second generation PS3, but otherwise identical. You get two USB ports on the front, but no support for PS2 games like you did with the first PS3 models. And with the glossy black plastic, it looks a lot cheaper.

Worse still, the disc tray is a real let down. This isn’t a slot-loading one that sucks in and spits out discs correctly. It’s a cheap old do-it-yourself job, with a slide-off tray. So that eject button on your PS3 remote control? Yeah, that doesn’t work anymore. And you can now hear the disc reading noises since it’s all going on much closer to the surface.

We’ve also come to expect a nice big price cut with every refinement of this generation’s consoles, but, well, that hasn’t really happened here. You can pick up the 500GB PS3 Super Slim for £249, but the second generation model with a still hearty 320GB of storage now goes for £199.99 on Amazon. It’s a tough sell against that, and the £140 4GB Xbox 360.

The bottom line

While we love the Sony PS3, and how it’s evolved to become so much more than a games machine, we’re not too impressed with this model, which is cheaper without Sony really passing on the savings.

There’s absolutely no reason to upgrade from the second generation PS3 slim to this, but owners of the 2006 classic chunkster console might relish the lack of turbine noise in their living room. Come back when you’ve got something as small as the PS2 Slim next time please Sony.


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