But as a Blu-ray player, what real improvements does it have compared to the original PlayStation 3?
To give you the short-and-quick answer, the PS3 Slim is an almost perfect copy of the older PS3 - which some have seen fit to call the "PS3 Fat." Here's what's different about the PS3 Slim, in five points:
- its case is now slimmer and more elegant, measuring 29 x 6.5 x 29 cm.
- Its power consumption has been reduced, to 0.3 W in standby and between 77 W and 81 W while in operation - whether a disk is being read or just with the start menu displayed. The original PS3 design consumed 1.6 W in standby and 112-115 W in operation. A standalone Blu-ray player typically uses less than 0.5 W in standby and 13-20 W in operation.
- Noise is less of a problem, and the fan seems to kick in less often than on the older model, although that last point is our subjective assessment. Our noise measurement, taken from a metre away from the front of the PS3 Slim read 37.2 dBA (compared to 34.3 dBA with the console turned off). That's not noisy, but it is more audible than a dedicated Blu-ray player.
- The PS3 Slim comes with a 120 GB hard drive, but a 250 GB option will be available soon.
- Finally, the HDMI audio output now supports bitstream mode for HD audio formats. That's good news for some Home Cinema HD amplifier owners! PCM mode, of course, is still available too.
For everything else--including the graphical interface, the display quality, the upscaling of SD sources and the handling of the joystick--the performance is strictly identical on the two consoles. Read our test of the first-generation Sony PS3 to find out more.
- Finally compatible with bitstream audio
- Lower power consumption than first-gen PS3
- Refined, elegant case
- Good quality upscaling of Standard Definition content
- Remote control is optional
- Noisier than standalone Blu-ray players
- Consumes more power than standalone Blu-ray players
As a Blu-ray player, the PS3 Slim isn't a revolutionary change from the PS3, but it does offer a few new features that may appeal to some users.