Sony Prepares to Release PS3 Slim

Sony Playstation 3 SlimApparently, Sony announced a new version of the commercially-struggling Playstation 3 console a few weeks ago. The new version is known as the PS3 Slim and will boast almost all of the same features as the original PS3. The new PS3 Slim will apparently be available on Tuesday, Sept. 1. At this time, only one version, a 120 gig model, of the PS3 Slim is being released. The new model will be priced at $299, nearly $200 less expensive than the cheapest version of the original PS3.

Yahoo! Plugged In gaming news reports that the new version of the console will consume 34% less electricity, be almost 4 pounds lighter than the original and is only about two-thirds the size of the original.

So, what’s the one apparent drawback of purchasing the PS3 Slim instead of buying the old mammoth version? The PS3 Slim will not include backwards-compatibility; meaning that you will not be able to play your Playstation 2 games on the new PS3 Slim. Will this make a major difference to consumers? Only time will tell. Microsoft caught a lot of flak when the Xbox 360 console was released with extremely limited backwards-compatibility.

HD Format War Over – Blu-Ray Wins Out

Toshiba announced today that they are pulling out of the race to win the HD format war. They will no longer be developing the HD-DVD format.

Toshiba’s president admitted that Warner Bros. decision to exclusively back the Blu-Ray format was basically the nail in the coffin for Toshiba.

Fortunately or unfortunately, that means that Sony’s Blu-Ray technology is the out-and-out winner in the format war. What will this mean for us as consumers? I really can’t say. There still seem to be rumors floating around that Sony is burdened by the cost of producing Blu-Ray compatible players and discs, even selling them at nearly 10 times the price of a standard DVD equipment. I’m hoping that the production costs will drop significantly now that they have no competition. Otherwise, it will most likely be a very long time before Blu-Ray overtakes the standard digital video disc.

At this point, will we begin to see more and more Blu-Ray drives being packaged with new computers? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.