Sony PlayStation 3 Slim has arrived
August 31st, 2009 by Maxim · 3 Comments · 37,580 Views
Shipments of Sony PlayStation 3 Slim console began today, August 31. I had mine pre-ordered on Amazon.com, so I received mine today. I could have received it three days earlier if Amazon printed address label more clearly – the postal office was ready to ship it back to sender because of “incomplete address”.
The new version of the console is called “Slim” for several good reasons: it’s 33% thinner and 36% lighter then all the previous PlayStation 3 models. It uses less energy, offers 50% more hard drive space (120GB) then the latest 80GB model, and costs only $299 after recent $100 price cut by Sony across all models. After the price cut, I figured it’s finally worth the money, given it’s both gaming console and a Blu-Ray player. Visually the major differences are, obviously, in size; also the case is no longer glossy-black and has cheaper look. The console still has two USB ports in the front. The power toggle button is no longer touch-sensitive – it was replaced with an actual pressable button.
Two years ago I had a bad experience with PS3 60GB model, so I was waiting for this price cut and a thinner model for a long time. Alas, it arrived. The box it arrived in is also thinner then the original 60GB model’s box. The box included a USB cable, a component video cable and the new Dualshock 3 controller. HDMI cable was not included.
Set up about 30 minutes. It included taking away my D-Link media server and Toshiba HD-DVD player out, plugging in PS3 and Logitech PS3 adapter for Harmony remote, downloading and installing latest firmware 3.0, and registering for PlayStation(R) Network. Most of the time was spent trying to enter user data for a new PlayStation(R) Network account one letter at a time.
I didn’t plan to play any games. I just wanted a Blu-Ray player and a powerful media player.
I didn’t try to play any games yet except for a demo of some game I downloaded and it seemed to work, but I deleted it immediately. I haven’t played any DVD or Blu-Ray disks yet. But I did try to stream a movie from my Netflix WatchInstantly queue: Guy Ritchy’s “Revolver”. For those interested how I do it – I use PlayOn media server. Playback started within 5 seconds, was smooth – no jitters, great quality of sounds and good video quality.
Oh, I forgot to mention that I spent at least half an hour reconfiguring Harmony universal remote to use with PlayStation 3. Those who are familiar with Logitech Harmony remotes know that this process is quite simple: remove all devices and activities, add a new device and the software programs the remote with the necessary infra-red commands to turn your TV, amplifier and game console on and swicth the TV and amplifier to proper inputs automatically when you want to start a certain activity on the remote, such as “Watch TV”, “Play a game”, “Watch a digital movie” etc. Overall, the process worked, but I feel I’ll need to spend another hour customizing the on-screen menu on Harmony remote to match the convenience of the Sony’s PlayStation 3 remote for Blu-Ray.
Which bring up a good point: is it worth paying for Harmony remote plus Logitech adapter for Harmony and PlayStation Blu-Ray player remote, when the remote for Blu-Ray from Sony costs only $19? The answer is: depends. If you have as many components as I have that you want to control with a single remote – yes. If all you have is a TV, amplifier and PS3 – you can learn to use one remote for TV+amp, and one $19 remote for PS3’s Blu-Ray player. I had quite a bit of gift certificates for Amazon – enough to pay for the adapter and cover half of the price of the console, so I was able to keep the setup affordable. Others made decide differently.
When playing back streaming media, the unit stays quiet and cool – so the major complaint I had two years ago about PS3 60Gb model has now been eliminated. Whether it will become loud and hot when playing games – I will let you know on this blog.
PlayStation 3 Slim streams Netflix and Hulu movies very happily, and what makes me even more happy is the ability to use my Harmony universal remote with it.
A new 250GB model of PlayStation3 Slim comes out on November 3, 2009, and its suggested retail price is $349.99
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