Sony PS3 review

It may be seven years old, but the PS3 is still going strong

TODO alt text


  • SSD storage option
  • Tiny dimensions
  • Great media capability
  • Perfect for newcomers


  • Flimsy exterior
  • Cheap drive mechanism
  • Tough price point

Sony may have taken the next-gen console battle by storm with the release of the PS4 last year, but that doesn't mean that it's neglecting its legacy. The most recent release of the PS3 - a 'super slim' model - makes even the last iteration of the console, the PS3 Slim, look a bit chunky.

Sony is obviously a fan of Apple's 'The New iPad' naming convention, but we're going to go ahead and stick with 'PS3 super-slim.' After all, it's 20% lighter than the 2009 PS3 Slim at just 2.1kg, and 20% smaller too.

The internal architecture's been completely redesigned to facilitate the shrink, although the only real change in terms of specs comes in the storage department.

There's a 12GB SSD model available a reasonable $300 (although you can pick it up much cheaper these days) with an optional 250GB dedicated HDD if you wish to upgrade your storage.

PS3 lineup

PS3 linup

The larger capacity 500GB model will set you back $399.95, although once again, you can pick it up for less if you shop around a bit.

PS3 Slim box contents

All models of the new PS3 super-slim are kitted out with all the same ports as the Slim - two USB ports at the front, HDMI and component video interfaces, optical (SPDIF) audio and Ethernet, although frustratingly there's still no HDMI cable included in the box.

PS3 Slim commection

The big news in terms of its design, though, is that disc tray - gone is the touch-sensitive control from the original PS3, and even the bread-and-butter button from the Slim. Instead, the top of the drive slides open across the console's top, operated by a front-mounted button.

PS3 slim 2 disc drawer

It needs to be pushed closed manually, and that's sure to divide opinion on this latest Sony PlayStation. It certainly feels like a manufacturing cost-reducing measure to us.

PS3 Slim 2 drawer button

And that's a feeling that extends to the PS3 super-slim's overall presentation. If you thought the Slim looked and felt cheap next to the grand piano finish of the original PS3, you'll be singularly unimpressed with this console. If the exterior's meant to convey 'sleek lightweight,' it falls short at just plain 'flimsy,' and it doesn't look particularly hard to break the drive mechanism with a bit of clumsiness.

PS3 Slim 2 close up

Given the launch of the next-gen consoles late 2013, it could be argued that this PS3 has a limited shelf life. It was very likely a move on Sony's part to entice those who hadn't bought previous PS3 models into its fold in preparation for the turf-war with Microsoft and (to a lesser extent) Nintendo, as all three giants released brand new consoles.

PS3 slim drive mechanism

And in fairness, now's a great time to do so if you haven't already. The PlayStation Plus subscriber service is getting better and better, offering an instant collection of top-notch titles such as Red Dead Redemption, Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite, and there are still plenty of PS3 games launching in 2014.

But should you consider the super-slim PS3 if you already have Sony's gaming hardware in your home? Does SSD storage make that much of a difference, and is 12GB enough storage space today? Let's break down what's on offer.


Reviews Editor

James (Twitter, ) oversees the reviews we publish on the site and also edits the TV, AV, Gaming, Car Tech and Gadgets channels. He's been in the field for 13 years, and travels all over the world to attend tech shows, product launches and cult gatherings. James' opinions have been inflicted on audiences of BBC TV, Radio 5 Live, The Guardian, local radio and various magazines and he's a grizzled veteran of most tech shows but will never again to return to CeBIT (no means no).


Editor (Australia)

Nick (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Australian editor, covering all the latest news and reviews from the Great Southern Land. Having spent the past decade editing some of Australia's leading technology publications, Nick's passion for the latest gadgetry is matched only by his love of watching Australia beat England in the rugby.