PlayStation 3 Slim
Current price: $299-$399, depending on the configuration
The trimming-down of the PlayStation 3 both in size and price finally brought the more-expensive console on an even keel with the Xbox 360, while technically offering a superior hardware package for the money.
The PS3 Slim has a cleaner look, but also a cheaper one: gone are the chromed glossy touches, replaced by physical buttons and matte-black plastic. The PS3 still has Blu-ray--now, a much more widely used feature--and a larger 160GB hard drive on the $299 version (or 320GB for $349), but it's lost that CompactFlash card slot and hardware backward compatibility along the way. The PS3 still comes with only one controller--now DualShock, of course--but the optional PlayStation Move peripheral adds a motion controller that feels like a crossbreed of the Kinect and Wii Remote.
The PS3's "media blade" software interface has remained largely the same, although features such as the PSN store and media-streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and MLB have been added. Needless to say, the PS3's online experience has paled in comparison to the Xbox 360's, although the PS3's online service doesn't charge for essential features.
The PS3 and Xbox 360 have undergone a sort of parallel evolution over the years, offering very similar features and price tags. However, while the Xbox 360 has reinvented itself a few times, the PS3 has kept within the bounds of Sony Electronics' design and focused on its excellent media hardware.
June 1, 2011 2:16 PM PDT
Photo by: CNET
| Caption by: Scott Stein
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