Sony: Market-Boosting Slim PS3 Will Phase Out Old Models

With three key changes to its guts, the new PlayStation 3 is more cost-efficient and poised to boost Sony's market share, Sony told Kotaku today. Oh, and the slim has no rear power button.

Sony is hoping that the the newly-announced slim PlayStation 3, launching in the U.S. on September 1 for $299, will be "a game-changing" moment for PlayStation, John Koller, Sony Computer Entertainment of America director of hardware marketing, told Kotaku today. "We think it's the sign of a substantial market increase in the sales base of PlayStation 3."

Going farewell are the bulkier PS3s. Which have carried Sony so far only into third place of the three-way console race this generation. Those heftier PS3s aren't being manufactured any more, Koller said. Sony expects the 80GB PS3 to be out of the sales channel in September. The 160GB supply may last a little longer, Koller said.

Koller identified three key tech changes in the new slim: the system's Cell processor has decreased from 65 nanometers to 45. A new cooling system is in place. And there's a new power draw. The result is something that Koller said is more cost-efficient for Sony to produce. He would not say whether Sony is making money or losing money selling the new unit. Often, console manufacturers lose money on gaming hardware, with the intent of recouping revenue through software sales.

The Slim has no on-off switch on the back, using only the standby functionality on the front of the unit.

The launch units will not include Sony's 3.0 firmware, though that will be added to later units.

Koller said that Sony is not considering adding backwards compatibility support to the PS3, a feature stripped from the line a while ago but sometimes requested by some fans. "Backwards compatibility is off the table," he said.