The PlayStation 3 gets smaller, while PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Mobile expand

19 Sep 2012

New PlayStation 3 image courtesy of Sony Computer Entertainment (design and specifications are subject to change without notice)

Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) has announced new developments for its PlayStation range of products and services, including a smaller and lighter PlayStation 3, PlayStation Plus for the PlayStation Vita, new manufacturing partners for PlayStation Mobile content, plus the availability of this content through the PlayStation Store, all to come in the coming months.

New PlayStation 3

The internal design architecture of the new PlayStation 3 has apparently been completely redesigned to reduce the volume and weight of the original PS3 by more than half, which makes it 20pc smaller and 25pc lighter than the current PS3. Weighing just over 2kg, the new system measures 290mm x 60mm x 230mm and maintains the simple, curved design characteristic of the PS3.

Though physically smaller, the new PS3 will have greater storage capacity than its predecessors, jumping from 160GB and 320GB models to 250GB and 500GB options, as well as a newly added 12GB flash memory model.

New accessories will also be released along with the new console, including a vertical stand and an optional 250GB hard drive, should those who buy the 12GB flash model decide to expand. The 500GB HDD model will hit Europe on 28 September at a recommended retail price of €299, with the 12GB flash memory model following on 12 October at €229.

There’s no indication on whether the 250GB option will be available in Ireland, but there is the possibility of a white colour option, which will be available in Japan from November with plans for other regions to follow.

UPDATE: According to the PlayStation Blog Europe, the new PS3 will be available from 28 September.

Expanding the PlayStation Network

Sony has also announced that PlayStation Plus will be available on the PlayStation Vita from November. This subscription package available from the PlayStation Store lets users play free games and receive exclusive discounts on titles. PS Vita owners can now join in the fun and those who already have a membership through their PS3 can enjoy the service on both devices at no extra cost.

Two new hardware partners for PlayStation Mobile have also been revealed. Fujitsu and Sharp now join HTC, Wikipad, Asus and Sony in providing devices that come PlayStation Certified and ready-to-play content from PlayStation Mobile.

From 3 October, PlayStation Mobile content will be available through the PlayStation Store in nine countries: Japan, the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Australia. About 30 titles will be available at launch, with more content and availability in more countries to follow.

Finally, Sony has announced it will being rolling out a PlayStation Mobile Developer programme along with the release of the official version of the PlayStation Mobile SDK in November. For a licence agreement fee of US$99 per year, developers will be able to distribute content for PlayStation Certified devices and PlayStation Vita through the PlayStation Store on a commercial basis.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic