What I miss most having recently been forced to replace my launch 60GB Phat with a PS3 Slim are the four USB ports and the card reader. I also find the USB ports more awkward to access as the reduced height of the PS3 Slim means that there is much less finger room when trying to reach the ports, set back as they are from the front of the PS3.
A possible, partial solution to my woes was revealed at CES where Nyko launched their Media Hub Slim. This is a version of their existing Media Hub+ that is designed specifically for the PS3 Slim. Plugging into both existing USB ports on the front of the Slim the Media Hub Slim provides four USB ports and an SD memory card slot. The Media Hub+ also supports Sony’s Memory Stick (MS) format, but it is not clear cut whether the Media Hub Slim does.
The MS logo has disappeared from the front of the hub and CNET made no mention of MS support in their report. Checking Nyko’s website for details on the product does not help either. The product description has obviously been cut’n’paste from the older hub’s page (they have even missed changing the name in one place). The ‘iconized’ features list states the card reader “Reads SD Cards and Sony Memory Sticks” while the bullet-pointed list mentions only the “Built-in SD memory card reader”. If I was nitpicking, I would also point out they have written Blu-ray incorrectly as “Blue Ray”.
(Photo credits: Jeff Bakalar/CNET, Nyko)
As you can see from the pictures Nyko’s hub also includes an IR receiver and mini 15-button remote. The choice of buttons on the remote is a little baffling. For example, where is the stop button? Maybe the ‘Back’ button corresponds to the circle button on the SixAxis so can be used for stop and maybe the ‘Options’ button is equivalent to the triangle button in common with the labelling on (EU and US versions of) Sony’s Blu-ray remote control? Similarly there is a ‘Top Menu’ button but not one for ‘Pop Up Menu’ which is more useful for Blu-ray movies.
Unfortunately the Media Hub Slim will not be released until April in the US, priced at $24.99, and perhaps even later over here in the UK. I will be keeping an eye out for it though as it looks like it may be the best solution yet to help alleviate some of, what I see as, the Slim’s shortcomings.