PS3 Slim: A virtual repeat of the PSP Go?

At Sony's big press conference scheduled today in Germany for Gamescom, the long-rumored PS3 Slim, a much cheaper, much smaller PlayStation 3 with a 120 GB HDD and requisite Blu-ray player, was finally unveiled. However, it wasn't too much of a surprise for eager potential buyers, as several online retailers prematurely posted product pages for the device.

It is similar to the situation with the PSP Go! at E3 this year. Just days before the new, smaller PlayStation Portable was slated to make its big debut, Sony's own Qore magazine leaked a picture of it.
Sony Computer Entertainment's President and CEO Kaz Hirai called it the "Worst-kept secret of E3."

But the lid was pulled off of this particular secret months ago. PS3 Slim rumors began when spy camera shots of a new PlayStation 3 chassis and retail box were leaked to gaming sites. Though very little was known about the device, it fueled the already heated discussion about a cheaper Sony console. Sony has not been able to achieve the market dominance it had with its last generation PlayStation 2, largely because the PlayStation 3 is the most expensive video game console of the "big three" (Wii, 360, PS3.)

Just hours in advance of Sony's press conference, retailers Kmart and Sears put PS3 Slim product pages live on their online stores, essentially confirming all rumors. Both sites had the console priced at $299.99 with a pre-sale release date of next Monday. Neither site, however, has an image of the new console yet.

Sure enough, at Sony's press conference today, Hirai appeared to debut the 120GB PS3 Slim for $299, which will be available on September first.

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