30 percent is the watchword for the new PlayStation 3 Slim, says Sony -- it's "30 percent slimmer, 30 percent lighter and uses 30 percent less power," Sony PlayStation Network operations director Eric Lempel tells Gamasutra.
"There were a number of different things that went into making this unit less expensive, and a few of the parts were redesigned," he says. "Several things were changed in order to make this possible."
Aside from the slightly bigger 120GB hard drive, says Lempel, the Slim is "identical" in power and ability, and nothing has been compromised.
While avoiding specifics, Lempel says Sony has been working on this rollout for "some time." "It has been part of our strategy -- for a long time, we were targeting release right about now," he says. "Units are already in the country, so we're ready to go. It was always part of the plan."
Lempel points out that all of Sony's platforms, from the original PSone through the PS2 and PSP, have undergone slimming -- sometimes more than once.
Analysts had long urged Sony to find a way to lower its costs and offer a lower-priced PS3 if it wanted a shot at competing in the current generation and meaningfully expanding its userbase.
But a lighter and more size-economic version of the hardware may appeal to some existing PS3 owners, too -- can they migrate their content from an older version of the machine to the Slim?
"We've got a couple of ways you can do that," says Lempel. Especially for the game content, you can always login [to your PlayStation Network account] and re-download that content. With video content, we do have the ability to back it up and restore it."