Consoles Compared: Sony PlayStation 3 vs. PS3 Slim

Playstation 3 Slim and Controller

So you’re ready to take the plunge and buy a PlayStation 3 Slim. Congratulations, at $300, there’s never been a better time to buy. But the skeptical consumer can’t help but wonder: What’s the catch? Is it missing something? In short, the answer is “not much,” but Sony has made a handful of very slight changes to the new machine that are worth reviewing before you buy. Here’s what’s new.

Refreshed Design

This one’s impossible to miss. True to its name, the new PS3 is slimmer (just 2.5 inches wide, compared to 3.86 inches), lighter (down to 7 pounds from 12) and shorter (by a smidge) than its older brother. It’s also a bit deeper, though, and the finish goes from a glassy piano black to a matte charcoal color. The new dimensions are a definite win, but depending on your tastes, the new finish may look a bit dull (literally) compared to the old one. On the flip side, you won’t have to worry about fingerprints as much.

PS3 and PS3 Slim

Needs a Vertical Stand

As an unfortunate consequence of its waif new runway-model proportions, the PS3 Slim is no longer happy to stand on its own. If you want to set it up vertically like a tower, you’ll now have to drop $24 for an optional plastic stand.

PS3 and PS3 Slim

Bigger Hard Drive

Yes, the price goes down while the hard drive storage goes up. But considering how far hard drive prices have plummeted lately, that should really come as no surprise. Instead of an 80GB drive, the new PS3 now boasts 120GB. Both use standard 2.5-inch SATA notebook drives that require only two screws to get to, so you’re still more than welcome to rip it out and put something larger in, if you’re so inclined.

PS3 Slim

More Energy Efficient

Call it greener, if you must. As manufacturing processes for the PS3’s famed Cell processor have improved, so too has its efficiency. Sony hasn’t officially released any numbers on just how much leaner the PS3 Slim runs, but we do know it now uses a 250-watt power supply (compared to the old 280-watt model), and CNET claims it used half as much electricity as a first-gen PS3 in testing.

PS3 and PS3 Slim

No PlayStation 2 Game Support or Memory Card Reader

Both of these options are actually long gone, but they’re still worth pointing out, since scoring an older model on eBay or Craigslist is always an option if you’re looking for them. The 80GB model introduced in 2007 was the last of the breed to offer these luxury options, but the original 20GB and 60GB models offered it, as well.

PS3 Slim

No Linux Support

This might truly be the only feature axed from the PS3 Slim. While all older PlayStation 3 models permitted users to install third-party operating systems like Linux on them, that won’t be possible with the PS3 Slim. To be fair, the capability was mostly a novelty to begin with, and only the geekiest of users (who probably already own PS3 consoles) will miss it.

PS3 and PS3 Slim