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Customer Review

1,034 of 1,053 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great product, great price, but consider carefully if it's right for you (can be upgraded), 18 Oct. 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Sony PS3 12GB Super Slim Console (PS3) (Console)
This is one of two UK models of Sony's third major version of its PS3 console. The main differences between the two models are the size of storage included (the majority of this review discusses that difference) and the price - this model's a lot cheaper, the cheapest PS3 yet.

What the two models have in common is that they are both significantly smaller and lighter than Sony's previous PS3 versions. They also have a top loading disc drive rather than a slot loading one (a button releases a catch so the cover of the drive slides aside, then you push it back in place after inserting the disc). Aside from that there are few major differences from the last generation - same number of USB ports (2), same outputs, no SACD or PS2 disc compatibility, etc . The reduction in size and weight is very welcome and although some may feel slot loading is cooler and marginally more convenient, it's not a big deal, and you can understand that by doing this they have been able to make the unit cheaper.

To deal with the differences, this model has a stated storage size of 12Gb, made up of flash memory. The other model has a stated storage size of 500Gb, this being hard drive storage. When I got my 12Gb PS3 I immediately downloaded the latest version of the system software, and after that I checked the storage size available according to the system. It said I had 9108MB left. (Why not 12Gb? Well the system software takes up some space)

So is it worth going for this model at a cheaper price? That will depend on how you want to use the PS3, and you should give it some careful thought before buying.

If you want to use your PS3 to store more than a very small amount of audio or video, this is definitely not a good choice for you. The storage space is too small for that. For watching blu ray discs though, it's fine, even good (in fact, even though it's more expensive than entry level blu ray players, it must be worth £100 or so alone as a player considering that it has a built-in wireless receiver, no dongle required, and that Sony is so quick with updates so all the latest discs play just right). You can also easily connect an external hard drive or usb stick to play music or videos (or to take backups - more on that later).

Games is where it gets tricky. Considering disc-based games first, most PS3 games have only small compulsory install or patch sizes (some have none at all) and fairly small save sizes. These don't present a problem. However a significant minority of games do have fairly large mandatory installs and some of these can be very large. It appears the game 'Rage' has the largest compulsory install for a disc-based game yet released, at 8Gb. So in short yes you can play any currently released disc-based game on this model, and now this model is released, especially as it's fairly late in the PS3's life cycle, it seems unlikely that Sony would allow a disc-based game to require an install greater than this 12Gb model could handle. (in fact you might wonder if this 12Gb size has been chosen to be as small as possible but so 'any game' plays...). Even so you can see how if you had Rage installed there wouldn't be room for much else. That's an extreme case but it's not uncommon for games to have install sizes of a few Gb. If you're the kind of person who wants to keep many games on the go, or who just wants to forget about install issues, then this isn't for you. If you are content to have a couple games on the go (plus an indefinite number of those with very small install and save sizes, of which there are many) then this is a good choice.

Some games can't be purchased on disc and must be purchased on the Playstation Network (PSN), these tend to be smaller games or revamped classics. They tend to have smaller sizes so with some careful memory management the issue is really the same as the one above for disc game installs (install sizes are fairly typical of the sizes of games that aren't available at all on disc). So again if you want to keep many of these permanently on your PS3 this isn't for you. You can also download any purchased game from the Playstation Network up to 5 times, and you can backup PSN games to a USB storage device by taking a backup of all your data (you can also backup MOST saves individually, as long as the game doesn't 'copy protect' them). The same data storage issues apply to downloadable game demos you can get from PSN, which tend to be around similar sizes - although with these you'll likely to be happy to get rid of them after you've played. And again, there is downloadable content for some games which will also take up more space.

A minor point is the fact that this model has flash memory storage whereas the 500Gb model has hard drive storage. Flash memory is often said to be faster than hard drives, lighter, quieter and more reliable. Well the memory on this PS3 doesn't seem to be working faster - the Metal Gear Solid 4 regular (not full) install took about 8-9 minutes for me, the same as it does with a PS3 with a hard drive. Other installs don't feel faster either (maybe even slightly slower, but not significantly so). It is lighter but that doesn't make a huge difference to the weight. It is quieter but the hard drive on the PS3 isn't too noisy anyway. As for reliable, we'll have to see, but it seems PS3 hard drives are fairly reliable anyway. At least you can perhaps feel a bit cooler or more modern knowing you have flash memory under the hood, for people who care about that kind of thing!

Having said all that about storage space, it should be noted that you can install a hard drive in it (and it doesn't have to be a proprietary hard drive), similar to how the hard drives in all PS3s can be switched / upgraded. In fact some have noted that with the price of this model and the price of hard drives, it could save you money to buy this model and a 500Gb hard drive, over buying the 500Gb model. Or you could add a larger hard drive, e.g. 1Tb. However you not only need a hard drive but also a caddy (or 'mounting bracket' as Sony call it) that will fit. Search for "Sony PlayStation 3 Replacement Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Mounting Bracket" on Amazon now and you will find the caddy listed. Sony are also releasing an official hard drive for this model with the caddy included, search "Sony PlayStation 3 250GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) (Includes Mounting Bracket) (PS3)" for that product on Amazon. You can install other hard drives though - make sure you pick one that with 2.5" width, 9.5mm height, 5400rpm speed and with SATA interface, to make sure it's compatible.

The PS3 has a great library of games now with many more greats to come even though the PS4 is said to be just around the corner. It's also a very good blu ray player. I'm someone who is fine having just a few games on the go at a time and I knew I could handle the memory management issues that would come with this model. I prefer to buy games and movies on disc. I have a PC and an external hard drive for audio and video. So this model was just right for me and I was able to take advantage of the significantly lower price point.
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Tracked by 10 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 41 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Oct 2012 15:13:00 BDT
sandy says:
Capacity is more than you think not less, when converting MB and GB.
9108MB = 8.9GB
So MB appears the higher number.
12GB is 12288MB

Posted on 19 Oct 2012 13:11:07 BDT
Kirk Douglas says:
Solid review, thanks!

Posted on 19 Oct 2012 16:46:38 BDT
great description! The good news is that you can install every 2,5 HDD later. The bad news is, that the HDD-Caddy for holding the HDD isn´t available yet. Who knows when it comes out?

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Oct 2012 22:46:03 BDT
Mr. L McWild says:
surely you can use any ps3 caddy so you could pick one up from ebay no doubt

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Oct 2012 23:59:17 BDT
twojames says:
Mr. L McWild,

No idea if the older caddys will fit in this new PS3 or not. If anyone can point me to a definitive answer on that, or I come across one myself, I'll link it. All I know is that Sony have said they are bringing out an official caddy specifically for this product so you can add a hard drive.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Oct 2012 10:14:56 BDT
Last edited by the author on 24 Oct 2012 11:25:26 BDT
Daniel Mayr says:
The old caddy doesn't fit, and the new one doesn't seem to be released yet: http://community.eu.playstation.com/t5/PlayStation-3-General-Discussion/New-Slim-12GB-HDD-Caddy-Availability/td-p/17153706

And regarding the install times you mentioned in your review: The installation time is mostly limited by the speed of the bluray drive, and as it sadly still only is a 2x bluray drive no real change should have been expected. A better measurement method would have been loading times of installed games like GT5.
But still: As only 12GB/16GiB(?) of Flash are used no speed records should have been expected. Flash gets faster the more you add and the amount this PS3 uses isn't really much. And also: There's a big difference between NAND being used as is, and NAND "accelerated" by using an expensive SSD-Controller. I presume Sony doesn't use a SSD controller in the new PS3.

edit: you can still plug in a HDD without using a caddy, but that possibly voids warranty if something bad happens.

Posted on 9 Nov 2012 16:24:15 GMT
Goonz says:
Possibly the best review I have read on this site. Thanks for being so informative and clued on. Really aids in making my decision on which to buy.

Thanks.

Posted on 14 Nov 2012 12:24:58 GMT
Gm Russell says:
can you play 3d discs movies

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Nov 2012 00:00:59 GMT
Dom Robinson says:
Yes, this review has told me a lot about this particular model that is very useful to me. I haven't got a PS3, but am thinking about getting one for the occasional exclusive game as I use an xbox 360 mainly.

Posted on 20 Nov 2012 13:06:29 GMT
trini says:
Really appreciate the length of time you have gone to in this feedback. It has been very helpful for a mother who knows nothing and needing info on what to buy for my teenage son. Thanks
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