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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 18 October 2012
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.
4141 comments| 1,037 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 November 2012
In short, it's smaller, lighter and is ideal for entry level users who don't need a great deal of storage.

It offers the exact same experience as any other PS3s and has a brand new design.

This choice of PS3 is ideal as a Blu-ray player or media streaming device and will set you back around £100 for another device that can do the same, however this can do much much more.

This version has just 12gb of storage, however if your careful with what you use and only regularly play 1-2 games at a time this is the perfect choice for you. If at a later date you change your mind and want more memory, you can buy a PS3 hard drive caddy and install you own hard drive if you would like to. Likewise if your old PS3 is out of warranty and no longer functions you can use your hard drive from your old PS3 in this PS3.

To install a spare hard drive this is the adapter you will need. You need a 5400rpm 2.5" hard drive for it to be suitable for the PS3.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-PlayStation-Replacement-Mounting-Bracket/dp/B009CV1OVC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351809047&sr=8-1

Please bear in mind you will be forced to format a newly installed hard drive and will lose all data you may have had on it.

The build quality it a bit cheaper than previous models which is to be expected and it has no slot CD drive and instead loads from the top although this is no issue.

To sum up, if you play 1 or 2 games at a time or are looking for a blu-ray, media streaming capable device this is for you.

or if your a heavy user, play numerous games at a time, download films/music, use Play TV amongst other things, the 500GB option is for you.
22 comments| 113 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 December 2013
Before purchasing this console for my son, I could not work out why he would need any more memory than 12GB....... now I do.

It appears now that most games manufacturers sell the basic game on disk, but the rest of the game comes via a download that needs to be saved on the PS3.

Result is that my son has to decide which game or 2 that he wants on his PS3 whilst the rest cannot be played without deleting all the information (including stage saves) of another game.

It does not bode well for gamers who like to switch between games
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on 22 May 2013
This is my first console in over 20 years when I bought the original Sega Mega drive ha ha!

The game is great, it looks good and fits with other items without looking out of place. Its easy to use and this was great value for money at under £140
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on 6 December 2013
Bought this as a replacement for my now-defunct fat 60Gb which died after 6 years loyal service.

Found it was significantly cheaper to buy a cradle for a fiver and install my old PS3 had drive in the 12Gb than to buy the 500Gb version.

Amazed by how compact these are but there are a couple of potentially serious downsides:

1. The non-motorised disc drive.
The sliding lid feels a bit flimsy at the best of times but it is almost unusable when the super slim is stored vertically as the console tips over when you try and get a disc in or out.

2. The noise of the blu-ray drive.
Might seem like an odd complaint but the fat 60Gb blu-ray was accompanied by a gentle whoosh noise as it kicked in and read the disc.
This one whirrs and chirps all the time and is just so loud to the extent that you get distracted by it when the PS3 is caching data as you're trying to listen to dialogue.

Seriously am considering trading this one in and getting a reconditioned fat one or perhaps a previous slim model.
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on 31 December 2014
I highly recommed this ps3 12 gb unit - Got mine for £110 brand new all in.

why take you time to look around for new unit all over the net and spend a few hours even on amazon, they are really cheap right now. Yes its comes with limited storage so what. I have no problem, why ?. Read on.

once you purchase. Buy these at same time

1 320 Gb stata Hdd £24.99 brand new ebay - take the time to search also
2 the ps3 slim Hdd Bracket - but this on its own not as a package deal its cheaper mine was £ 2.99 at the time.

now i have a 320 gb ps3 slim for all in £137.98 and now try and get system for that as a package you will not.

now go to you tube for a video instruction on how to install your new drive its not hard people so be afraid, just make sure you get instruction video that fully shows how to install your new drive its only a few minutes to carry out.

people get afraid of going down the above route, don,t be its so easy to do.

some system full package are way way way more expensive some way over £220 + buying it the other way.

makes good sense to me and i saved a few quid, you will to i gaurantee it, try it out for your self.

have fun gaming peeps.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE
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on 11 January 2016
The question you have to ask yourself is this? As a 30 something gamer who only plays a game until its completed is this the console for me? The answer is damn right it is. Silent hill, Resident Evil, Final Fantasy, all purchased for less than a fiver on ebay, the back catalogue available is immense, I don't go online and don't play those sorts of games, I'm old school and didn't fancy the PS4 price tag. I am currently playing Aliens Marine Commandos and am happy as a pig in muck, the graphics are awesome, the controls are fab and the sound is immersive. I will be happy for years to come, the PS3 has been around a few years but s savvy shop wise gamer who isn't just interested in the latest thing can find a nice little nirvana here.
Get one and get yourself on ebay, hoover up a banquet of titles and get the beers in :)
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on 14 October 2015
not enough memory here to play GT6, this unit has flash and not a hard disk. you will need to buy a separate hard disk (sata 5400 rpm) and install it yourself. If you do this it will auto copy all contents of flash to the hard disk and no need to re-install all those updates. A good console but needs an upgrade if you like your games and not just using this to play blu-rays
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on 22 March 2015
I would recommend this if you only intend on playing a couple of games at a time on it as the memory is not huge. I didn't realise this and had to buy a larger memory for it, which cost more than just getting a larger size straight away. Other than that, it works pefectly and is really small so it fits anywhere. I actually like the way that this playstation has an old style way of putting the disc in, rather than inserting it in a slot. Although it means that you need a certain amount of space to place the disc in, it also means that you can get discs out even when the machine is off, or if the machine malfunctions.
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on 16 December 2015
Be wary of buying these second hand. The Blu ray player didn't work on arrival. Not bothered about that too much, but in that condition I think I paid too much for it, 70 pounds. 50 would have been fair, ive kept it just for games.
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