As expected, Sony has launched a new PS3 gaming console at the GamesCom in Cologne which will be available across North America, Europe and Asia from the 1st of September.
The president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, Kazuo Hirai, told the audience, "In 2004 we launched a slim version of PlayStation 2, a defining moment for that console, helping us to expand the user base of PlayStation further. Today is that day for PlayStation 3".
The console will cost $300 in the US and as little as £244.85 from Shopto in the UK. Sony has also said that it will drop the price of the 80GB PS3 to $300 and that of the 160GB to $400 respectively.
It is very likely that retailers will have to offer even deeper discounts to get rid of the 80GB models; Asda has already started offering sweeteners with the old 80GB console which is now available for £250.
The new PS3 slim - which bears the model name CECH-2000A - is around a third smaller and lighter than the original PS3 console and comes with a bigger 120GB hard disk drive. It has shed its trademark "Spiderman" logo for a more sober PS3 inscription on its black charcoal body
Power consumption has been slashed by two-thirds thanks to a new 45nm manufacturing process for the IBM Cell processor - instead of the 65nm - a redesigned cooling unit and more efficient power supply.
And in a rather controversial mood that will surely disappoint a number of users - including some Linux devs like Yellow Dog Linux - it has been confirmed that Sony won't allow other operating systems to be installed on the gaming console.
The PS3 is a mixed bag; some will say that Sony SHOULD have been more open when it comes to other operating systems like Yellow Dog Linux. It is still £50 more expensive than the Nintendo Wii although some will say that this one comes with a Blu-Ray player.