At a Japanese press conference yesterday, Sony announced a new redesign of their console the PlayStation 3, which comes fitted with either a larger hard drive or a smaller flash based hard drive to reduce price. We already have a PlayStation 3 slim, but that hasn't stopped Sony from shedding a few extra pounds from their (lets be honest) rather large slim console, with the new model no being a further 25% smaller than the previous slim model, making it a full 50% of the size of the original PlayStation 3 that was released seven years ago.

The new model may only be half the size of the original PlayStation 3 models, but back are some of the style tips that the original model had such as the curved case, but with that comes a sliding disc cover that replaces the slot-loader for discs, this obviously saves on a lot of space as well as manufacturing costs, not unlike what the did with the super slim PlayStation 2.

The new models come in a choice of 500GB, which should be replacing the current 320GB model, with a 250GB now replacing the 160GB model and just to make the deal a little sweeter we can now expect to see a 12GB flash drive edition here in the UK, it may not be a lot of storage for the hard core gaming market, especially if you love downloading content, but the price will undercut all of the current hard drive models, aiming this model right at the heart of families who want to play casually or of course take advantage of the 3D capable blu-ray player, iPlayer, Netflix and many other features on the console.

New Slimmer Sony PS3 - CECH-4000New Slimmer Sony PS3 - CECH-4000

The best thing of all though is that if you want to upgrade the hard drive in your flash model, you can, as with all sony consoles this should be as easy as swapping a hard drive from your laptop or home computer, meaning if you want 500GB in 6 months time, it should be cost effective and painless to do so.

You can expect these new edition to hit retail in the UK on the 28th of September 2012, although if your waiting for the 12GB edition, you will have to hold out till the 12th of October 2012.

Prices haven't been confirmed yet, but given the two larger hard drive editions are replacing the current SKUs we can expect them to stay at the same retail price. Price on the flash drive edition is also unknown but expect it to be the cheapest new PS3 on the market, I will stress at this point just because its cheaper, the only thing different is the size of the console and its hard drive, the rest of the system specifications remain the same.

With the launch of the Wii U just around the corner and the prospect of Next-Gen hardware from Microsoft and Sony not expected until late next year, I have to say "well played Sony, well played", although I'm sure Nintendo might not be so joyous about Sony's latest hardware update

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