Sony unveils new PlayStation 3

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Electronics giant Sony has unveiled an updated version of its hugely popular PlayStation 3 video game console at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, which started last night. An updated version of the console has long been rumoured, which also fuelled speculation that an entirely new console might be on the horizon.

Sony has unveiled an updated version of its hugely popular PlayStation 3 video game console (image: Sony)

Sony has traditionally released an updated version of its current console a couple of months before announcing a new console, as it did with the original PlayStation (which became the PlayStation One), PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3 (and then went on to release the PlayStation 3 Slim).

The new PlayStation 3 is 50% smaller than the original PS3 and 20% smaller and 25% lighter than the current PS3 Slim. But users looking for a different experience might be disappointed, as Sony did not add any new functionality to the design – only making it more cost-effective and improving its reliability through a form-factor redesign.

According to Joystiq, the updated model will be available in two different versions: 500GB and 250GB models in Charcoal Black and a 250GB system in Classic White.

The release date for the updated model has been pegged at 4 October in Japan for the black model, while the white model will be released on 22 November, and will retail for about $317.

The US will receive the new models a bit earlier, on 25 September and will retail for $269bundled with the “Game of the Year” edition of Uncharted 3 and a voucher for $30 worth of content in the free-to-play shooter Dust 514.

“A non-bundled version of the new 250GB console will be priced at $249 eventually; however, a Sony press release notes that only bundles ‘will become available at launch timing.’ The 500GB model will launch for $299 on October 30. PlayStation Blog also revealed a special, limited edition Assassin’s Creed 3 bundle was in the works, but did not announce price. In a press release, Sony noted that Japan will get the white model and that “other regions and countries will follow,” Joystiq wrote.

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor