The $199 12GB PS3 is official and on sale in the US

Here we are, the last of a generation comes to an end. Sony’s decade-long plan with the PS3 draws to a very slim, and very cheap close with the launch of this, the 12GB US$199 PS3. There were rumours which have materialised into truth and those who are keen to get their last-gen buzz on, the 12GB PS3 can be purchased right here from Sony’s online store.

PS3 2013

The Slim Jim of consoles

The cheaper PS3 sold first in Canada and has now made its way to the US. According to CNET, there’s a 6.35cm flash-drive, one wireless DualShock controller and built-in Wi-Fi. All very similar offerings to most PS3 bundles then, minus a game or second controller.

Is the US$199 PS3 a blatant rip-off of the now-ancient Xbox 360 Arcade edition? This cut down console had one controller, no HDMI cable and a mere 4GB on-board memory. It wasn’t the most popular Xbox 360 model ever released, but it was at least produced during the start of the consoles life-cycle. Can the PS3 take advantage of the current stellar crop of games and sell itself as a viable console option?

There’s still a lot of life left in the PS3 though, with games like the Last of Us, Diablo III, Grand Theft Auto V and Gran Turismo 6 keeping the old dear alive. These games are some of the pinnacle of our generation and at this price the PS3 would be a tasty alternative to the Xbox 360.

For reference, the first PS3 launched 2006 at the price of US$600 (60GB model). Today’s PS3 is US$199, far less bulkier and has 12GB of on-board storage. With the US$400 PS4 coming at the end of the year, is it really worth it to invest half of that in a console that’s almost ten years old? With some luck, Sony’s gamble will pay off.

Steven Norris: grumpy curmudgeon


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