Slimmer PS3, Sony Kinect Competitor A Vague Possibility

There are rumours floating around, as usual. We hear vague mumblings and suppositions all the time but there have been slightly more concerted noises made around the possibility of a new, slimmer form factor PlayStation 3. Now, Eurogamer seems to have gotten a Sony source to deviate from the usual “no comment” and into a kind of vague and playfully teasing response of “never say never”.

The “new” PS3 Slim is almost three years old now and while it is obviously doing a perfectly good job for Sony, making things smaller and cheaper is always a big attraction for anyone trying to sell multiple millions of units across the globe. Shuhei Yoshida responded to EG’s questions about revised hardware by cagily saying that they “haven’t announced anything new on PS3 in terms of hardware revisions,” but that the company “should never say never.”

Thats not all though, remember those Orbis sketches that showed some quite spectacularly ugly people prancing about in front of a set-top thing? Well, that seems like it could possibly be related to the subject of EG’s next question to Yoshida, about their Move tech and how they explored Kinect-like technology. Yoshida admitted that the company “haven’t been able to really fully make use of the potential of PS Move.”

When pressed on whether Sony would revisit Kinect-style technology in the future as their previous concerns about accuracy and resolution are solved through better technology and components, Yoshida refused to rule it out, saying “Well, these technologies continue to evolve, so our hardware guys are always searching for and talking to different tech providers, so never say never.”

Very cagey, very vague but quite interesting nonetheless. On one hand, it’s nice to know that Sony isn’t closed to continued progression – either small hardware revisions or sweeping new approaches. On the other hand, it makes them appear a little bit reactionary and for a company that has innovated so much seemingly forgotten tech in the games industry, that’s a shame.

Source: Eurogamer

29 Comments

  1. One Sony’s reasons for turning down camera-only motion gaming was concerns over resolution & lack of fidelity that caused, surely with more processing power on hand next-gen that issue is resolved, so it would make sense to at least explore it in advance of release. Certainly Kinect running on PC can do some very impressive & fine tuned things. It’s clear 3rd parties aren’t going to embrace Move, or that Sony lack the corporate will to hammer it home in the way that MS have done with Kinect, so there’s not really anything preventing Sony from changing course from a business perspective.

    A new smaller, cheaper more power efficient PS3 should be a must at some point, would be a nice boost for this Christmas period.

    • I can’t quite remember, but the original plan for the Kinect was to have a dedicated chip built into the camera system, and then pipe the analysed data to the main console. Corners were cut and workload offloaded to the console in order to bring prices down, which reduced the complexity of the data usable.

      Surely second generation tech, which is also accounted for on day 1, would have a much more sophisticated set up.

      Personally doubt we’ll see a redesigned PS3. A further die reduction, maybe, but doubt that they’ll bother with an outer overhaul.

  2. I will be pleased if/when a slimmer PS3 is released, as that will likely be paired with another price-cut and we all remember how that went with the announcement of the original Slim at Gamescon. There is still so much improvement hardware-wise that Sony can do for the PS3 in terms of slimming it down like implementing a System on a chip for the hardware, 32nm fabrication process and perhaps updated Blu-ray drive components which are surely getting thinner and cheaper to manufacture. Would it be too far to suggest that if a new PS3 Slim with a price-cut is released, a price-point of £129.99.

    As for the Kinect-esque Sony competitor, given the next-PlayStation will be incredibly powerful and 1080p cameras becoming small and cheap, we could see a more refined version of Kinect combined with Sony’s efforts from PlayStation Move be well implemented in terms of accuracy and successful tracking capabilities, but regardless of the hardware, Sony needs to focus on getting the software support if they stand any chance of being able to ‘one-up’ Microsoft. I hope it works out, I love the possibilities and with Augmented Reality becoming quite prominent and creative IP’s emerging; there could be something revolutionary with this.

  3. Maybe a slim ps3 called ps3go like the pspgo it’s download only

    • Please do not give them ideas! :O

  4. Technically a slimmer, slimmer PS3. Still would be nice to get it down to the PS2 slims kind of size

  5. if they made a PS3 that was as thin as a laptop and came with a screen, id buy that, it would save my backbones from all the akward sitting postions to see the TV.

    • not a bad idea that, I would buy that too.

    • I’ve often speculated how Sony could implement a PS3-portable. With more and more tech emerging allowing slimmer 1080p monitors on smaller scale, hardware-improvements to bring the design of the PS3 to a smaller build as I’ve suggested above; it would be plausible to design a portable without looking like a rugged box with PS3 stamped on it. Ben Heck did an amazing portable PlayStation 3 (among other consoles) and it worked and looked fantastically, so imagine what Sony could do designing it from the ground-up with their engineers, even thinner console and and manufacturing prowess would do with one.
      I just think there may not be a large demand for a PS3 portable that’s all. I would certainly love one and I know a few others that would, but Sony has to make a profit and it wouldn’t be possible without a big market. At least they’d get a sale from us though :)

      • True, although i’d expect laptop-style ps3’s to shift a few more units than those Visor head-mounted displays .. :)

    • Just to play devils advocate, why not just get a laptop??

      • Because of the exclusives that we can only get on PS3. I’d love to be able to pick up and play Uncharted 3 or Heavenly Sword anywhere. I’m sure many share the same sentiment of playing exclusive titles anywhere. Also for titles that aren’t on PC would be beneficial.

      • & that’s where the split occurs. I (& a few others i have spoken to) wouldn’t dream of taking experiences like that out of the home, as they are the sort of thing that demands sitting down & pumping a few hours into in the comfort of your own home.

        This is why i do not ‘get’ the Vita, as i see handhelds as a device that play short bitty games, such as puzzlers, platformers & the like.

        Besides which, i am generally playing PlayStation in my pants (theres an image for those that attend the meets i do!) – That doesn’t tend to go down too well on the bus.

  6. I’d buy a slimmer slim PS3. Make something smaller and the gadget geeks will always come flocking! Maybe it’ll look like the old slim concept idea someone doodled up many years ago…
    http://www.generally-speaking.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/ps3-slim.jpg

  7. I wouldn’t of thought Sony would wanted to of spent time on R&D for a slimmer slim, surely they’d be focusing on the next-gen?

    • This was my thought too – Not that i want to see a new console any time soon as the PS3 fits my needs, but if they are serious about next gen, surely they should be pouring resources into that instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.

      • Of course, but they’re thinking about profitability and since Sony always plan long-term with their consoles; ensuring the consistent sales of a profitable PS3 is definitely in their plan. The PS3 will still sell long after the next-PlayStation has emerged, so ensuring it extends their profit margin it’s all good.
        Plus, if the next-PlayStation shares any similarities hardware-wise with the PS3 surely they could use the manufacturing insight they gained from slimming from the PS3.

      • Yeah, you’d think – Didn’t really work that way between the slim PS2 & the release of the PS3 though did it?? :D

      • True, but we have come a long way since 2006. We can now manufacture at a larger scale using better techniques, newer hardware which has made greater strides in terms of manufacturing efficiency and design. Fabrication processes has got more efficient, 22nm is already shipping in the Intel Core i7 using Intel Ivy Bridge tech is certainly a big stride and with some fabrication plants planning for 16nm and 18nm, that will certainly allow better design for smaller and cheaper components allowing more flexibility than previous generation.

      • I can see what you’re saying, but I would of thought Sony would rather consumers buy the more expensive PS4 than a cheaper (but profitable) PS3 once the PS4 is released. I guess it depends on if Sony will be making a profit or a loss when they start selling the PS4.

  8. I’d buy a new slimmer PS3 if it came out. I bought the current slim on release day so i’d be happy with a change.

    • Yeah me too, wouldn’t mind an ultra slim version, which uses even less power and is a bit more silent. Not that slim is noisy, but it’s defiantly not silent :) They could even go the external psu, that would be oki with me, if it meant the case it self would be smaller and more silent.

      Also they need to add charge from usb when in standby, I never understood why that was missing.

      • Oh yeah, being able to charge the controller when the PS3 is off is a good idea. When I first bought the slim it was very quiet but now it can be quite loud even when im just sat on the xmb. I’m worried!

      • Yeah mine is defiantly also nosier then when I bought it. I took mine apart some months ago and cleaned it, though there really wasn’t much to clean. It didn’t do any real difference, but I figured it better to be safe.

        I’ve been thinking about getting a brand new fan for it.

  9. No Comment? Oh well, it’s confirmed then (not).

  10. New Slim… Half a USB port, no backwards, or PS3 games compatibility.

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