Print 12 comment(s) - last by BansheeX.. on Aug 16 at 11:44 PM

Leaks from Kmart and Future Shop confirm variant is not EU-exclusive

Clearly not a fan of the "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" ideology, Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) has taken the PlayStation 3 console through over 400 different permutations with various price points, hard drive sizes, internal hardware functionality, and even console sizes.  The latest version -- the PS3 Superslim -- aired last October.

While Sony is gearing up for the launch of the PlayStation 4 during the Q4 holiday season, the Japanese giant has gone back to the drawing board for one last remix of the tried-and-true PS3, introducing a variant with no traditional hard disc drive, but 12 GB of NAND flash storage.

At its launch in 2006 Sony offered 20 and 60 GB variants of the console, which have since been bumped to 250 GB and 500 GB.  Sony's rival Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) launched a 4 GB flash variant of its Xbox 360 console in Aug. 2010, which allowed it to hit the attractive price point of $199 USD (Sony's 250 GB PS3 is currently priced at $259).  The cheaper variant, in part, helped Microsoft emerge as the top seller on a monthly basis last year.

Nintendo Comp., Ltd.'s (TYO:7974Wii (512 MB) and Wii U (8 GB standard/32 GB premium) consoles also feature flash memory.

Originally the 12 GB PS3 was intended to be only for the Europe and Hong Kong (PAL) markets.  Sony Computer Entertainment's American marketing VP, John Koller told Engadget last year:

The smaller Flash drive isn't coming to North America, and a lot of that reason is the digital consumer. We really want to make sure, out of the box, that there is an option for them to be able to download that content. That is really critical for us, very very important.

But it appears Sony must have changed its mind internally, as Candian retailer Future Shop broke embargo and posted the console as "in stock" as of Tuesday.  

PS3 12 GB flash Future Shop
[Image Source: Engadget]
The page has since been pulled, down but a leaked image of a 12 GB PS3 box from a retail store of Sears Holding Corp. (SHLD) subsidiary Kmart in the U.S. has also subsequently leaked, seemingly confirming the rumor that the flash-equipped PS3 will launch in North America on Aug. 18 (Sunday) (although Canada may see a launch first, late this week).

PS3 Flash 12 GB Kmart
A 12 GB PS3 flash model at a Kmart store [Image Source: Engadget]

The new variant is $70 USD cheaper than the next cheapest set of PS3 price points, but customers should be aware that Sony is offering the both the 250 GB and 500 GB consoles with a game (Grand Theft Auto V, Assassin's Creed III, Grand Turismo 5, Uncharted 3, or God of War Ascension) for $270 USD.  The 250 GB consoles also come with a free year of Playstation Plus online service.  The flash PS3 is not expected to be bundled with any such extra goodies.

Source: Engadget

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TRIM Support?
By OnyxNite on 8/14/2013 3:56:28 PM , Rating: 3
Does there being a Flash storage version of a console mean the Console supports TRIM and other flash storage maintenance functions? If so would that support extend to older consoles running the latest OS update if they replace the HDD with an SSD?

RE: TRIM Support?
By Argon18 on 8/14/2013 4:40:11 PM , Rating: 2
No way to know really on an embedded computer like a PS3. If TRIM is implemented in the OS (like it should be) then it'll be transparent; the OS will recognize a block device as an SSD and use TRIM. If however this new model uses idiotic hardware-based TRIM that is embedded in the SSD itself, then obviously an OS update wouldn't contain that.

RE: TRIM Support?
By Monkey's Uncle on 8/14/2013 8:58:51 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure why some fool down-rated you so I voted you back up.

Knowing Sony and their closed architecture I doubt very much that Trim available since Sony would frown on you implant into an SSD into an older version of their console. I would expect them to actively put roadblocks into the OS to block people from doing that (i.e look for specific SSD firmware signatures before activating it).

RE: TRIM Support?
By Monkey's Uncle on 8/14/2013 8:59:40 PM , Rating: 3
Aww. DT backed out my vote when I responded :(

RE: TRIM Support?
By jjlj on 8/16/2013 4:27:12 PM , Rating: 3
it is pretty ridiculous that you can't post a comment and vote. Also not sure why votes are limited to 5 and -2 or what ever.

RE: TRIM Support?
By CaedenV on 8/14/2013 10:43:56 PM , Rating: 2
Dobutful. Not that it would not be nice, but with only 12GB of storage this is not going to be accessed as often as a HDD with a bunch of games installed on it. Most likely just for 1-2 games, plus game saves for disc based games. With so little writing there would not be a whole lot of need for TRIM.

... Still it would be nice. My biggest complaint about the PS3 and X360 is not the gutlessness of the games (they are 'fine enough' for the price point), but the sluggishness of the interfaces. Being able to upgrade to a proper SSD would bring some new legs to these older systems.

RE: TRIM Support?
By BZDTemp on 8/15/2013 5:23:08 AM , Rating: 2
I have had a Intel 80 GB SSD in my gen.1. PS3 for a long time now and I really love it.

Now the SATA interface in the PS3 does not support the fast transfer rate of the SSD, but with access times now much faster and the transfer rate at max possible game load times are much faster. With a game like GT5 which comes with a lot of small files the loading times are more than cut in half :-)

I would think that as usual the Flash based PS3 allows its user to swap the storage to any standard storage if the need comes - and this without any mark up since Sony aren't doing the Microsoft crap instead being a much more open platform (Standard storage, Blue tooth..).

I'm not so sure this is a good deal
By Samus on 8/15/2013 1:34:31 AM , Rating: 2
This model was originally intended for markets in Europe, Asia and South America where download/broadcast rights do not allow media content to be stored, making a hard disk mostly a waste.

In the United States and for the most part, Canada and Mexico, a hard disk is inherently necessary for the PS3 if you plan to use it as a media console. I've used over 200GB on my hard disk and I have a very average-sized game and content collection in my opinion.

Just think of people with the XBOX 360 Arcade that had 512MB memory. That was quickly outdated in 2009 when system update 4.0 came out requiring 800MB of storage.

12GB is fine for the PS3 OS, but you can't fit any game cache, download content, or even multimedia content on it. And to make it even worse of a deal, it costs THE SAME PRICE as the 500GB model when you factor in the 500GB model includes a $60 game that most people want.

RE: I'm not so sure this is a good deal
By flyingpants1 on 8/15/2013 3:39:34 AM , Rating: 2
12GB isn't nothing. You can install 3-4 games on there. A lot of PS3 games don't have a mandatory HDD install at all.

Perfect time for the 12GB model. The holiday season is approaching, tons of these will be bought as gifts. Other target markets: Children. People who don't know any better. People who only play one game, like COD.

They'll simply be forced to upgrade with HDD later on.

It's too bad so many PS3 games need installs, they could have started selling a $199 PS3 a long time ago.

RE: I'm not so sure this is a good deal
By Samus on 8/15/2013 11:01:18 AM , Rating: 2
You clearly have never installed a game on a PS3. FF13's install can be as large as 35GB.

You could potentially install a dozen or so downloadable games, but very few PS3 discs will have any caching room to the flash memory, which means this console will be cripple by lower performance than all other PS3's. It just isn't worth it. Why would anybody get this over a HDD model when they are the same price?

Flash memory is a stupid idea for a media console. Load times will be negligibly faster over HDD and media content like video, DLC, and apps aren't affected by load times since they are all so small.

People need to understand the Playstation OS is already in NAND. This 12GB flash is user storage. Imagine a computer designed for gaming and media with 12GB available after installing the OS. What exactly are you going to put there?

RE: I'm not so sure this is a good deal
By GTVic on 8/16/2013 4:59:45 PM , Rating: 2
That is complete BS. 35GB would be the entire disk. An extended installation like that is only supported on the 360. Sony does not allow games to be copied to the HD except for downloaded games.

Eurogamer did a complete test and the 12GB was enough for all the most demanding games.

By BansheeX on 8/16/2013 11:44:57 PM , Rating: 2
Someone like me only plays at MOST 2 games every month. So this is a great model for people like that. Plus you get the noise/reliability benefits of SSD over HDD.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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