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Why You Might Want a $200 PS3

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 13 comments
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This article was updated on 8/19/2013.

Sony has made an ultracheap, lightweight PS3 available in Canada. It may not be around for long, or it may herald the last big hardware push before the PS4 launch, but either way, a $200 PS3 might be just the entry-level console the current market needs.

The new PS3 model has 12GB of flash storage (like a mobile device, as opposed to a traditional, slower hard drive) and you can buy it for $200 from Future Shop, a Canadian electronics chain, according to an Engadget report.

Other than that, it's what you'd expect from a PlayStation 3: You can play video games and watch Blu-ray discs, and also stream content from video services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video without any additional surcharge.

At present, the cheapest widely available PS3 costs $250 in North America, but sports 160GB of storage, more than 10 times the amount offered by the flash storage model.

If you're looking to buy a PS3, it makes much more sense to drop the extra $50 and get more than enough storage for all the movies (you can download content from the PlayStation store as well as streaming it from other services), games and downloadable content you're likely to need.

However, the flash storage PS3 may not be aimed at traditional gamers at all. Consider the recent release of the Ouya and the reports of Amazon preparing its own Android console. The Ouya retails for $100; Amazon's console might go for $150 (although this is just conjecture).

Both consoles want to attract new and casual gamers: Buy this moderately priced box, and you can play cheap games and watch streaming video.

Suppose, however, that you could get an Amazon console for $150 or a PS3 for $200. A PS3 streams video at higher resolution, has access to much better games and can play Blu-rays on top of all that.

The system is not as light or portable as an Android box, but it provides a much more comprehensive entertainment center for only $50 more. The jump from $150 to $250 (for a traditional PS3) is a lot; $150 to $200 seems like a lot less.

Up until this point, Android consoles and traditional game consoles have not really competed, but that could change as the next-gen consoles come out and the current-gen systems continue to drop in price. If the 12GB PS3 gets a large-scale release, expect it to target a different demographic than the current core gamers the PS3 attracts.

We have contacted Sony to find out whether this PS3 will see a stateside release.

UPDATE: Sony has confirmed the $200 PS3 for a U.S. release by stocking the device in its online store. It will also be available at national retailers throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Hong Kong.

Follow Marshall Honorof @marshallhonorof. Follow us @tomsguide and on Facebook.

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Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    jdlobb , August 15, 2013 6:18 AM
    Why does nobody ever mention that the PS3 plays 3D BluRays, making it one of the least expensive 3D BluRay players on the market and an EXCEPTIONAL value for anybody with a 3D tv?
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    jdlobb , August 15, 2013 6:18 AM
    Why does nobody ever mention that the PS3 plays 3D BluRays, making it one of the least expensive 3D BluRay players on the market and an EXCEPTIONAL value for anybody with a 3D tv?
  • -3 Hide
    kurjack , August 15, 2013 6:53 AM
    "Suppose, however, that you could get an Amazon console for $150 or a PS3 for $200. A PS3 streams video at higher resolution, has access to much better games and can play Blu-rays on top of all that." - pretty sure the article mentioned it played blu-rays
  • Display all 13 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    teknomedic , August 15, 2013 8:21 AM
    I'm sorry, but "ultra cheap"?... um... 500GB super slims have been one sale randomly for $230 recently.
  • 2 Hide
    Parsian , August 15, 2013 8:55 AM
    I dunno man, I think ill rather pay more and pick up the PS4 because it supports 4K content as well and no need to have my HTPC there any longer.
  • -1 Hide
    bryonhowley , August 15, 2013 9:31 AM
    Well I got the first PS3 Slim that came out and after adding a 250gig SSD it did cost me a bit more than I wanted but all in all it has been worth it. With the free games you can get as part of Playstation Plus and the ability to play HD movies from my PC with PS3 Media Player it has been a great addition. I have not had to buy very many games to get the ones I wanted with Playstation Plus.
  • -1 Hide
    belardo , August 15, 2013 9:32 AM
    And yet Nintendo and some in the industry are confused as to why the Wii-U is failing.

    $350 for a console that is on par with the PS3, but without the software and NO WAY to play DVD or Blu-Ray movies?! Especially when the PS3 is going for $200~250. And yes, I've seen the PS3 going for $230 at SONY stores. But I'm waiting for the PS4 which will eventually play PS3 games.

    Like the PS2, we should expect the PS3 to remain on the market for a few years... but not as long as the PS2 hung around because it was possible to make the PS2 much cheaper. But then again, in another year or so - an even smaller PS3 should be possible that can fit inside a PS2 case.
  • 0 Hide
    Darkk , August 15, 2013 7:47 PM
    I still have the original PS3 (fat) with 60 gig hard drive and media slots. Bought it at launch for $600 and been running fine ever since. I suspect PS4 will do just as well but given the large PS3 customer base who are happy with the games it'll be awhile before PS4 become mainstream. PS2 been around forever and still being used.
  • -1 Hide
    merikafyeah , August 15, 2013 11:16 PM
    First gen PS3 had more storage and could do way more, like play all PS2/PSX titles and had linux support. Not anymore! Sad sad sad.

    For the same $200 you could get a first gen PS3 on eBay and actually get your money's worth in hardware. The magic model number you're looking for is "CECHA01", the original and best version of the PS3.
  • 1 Hide
    Non-Euclidean , August 16, 2013 7:06 AM
    Why does nobody ever mention that the PS3 plays 3D BluRays, making it one of the least expensive 3D BluRay players on the market and an EXCEPTIONAL value for anybody with a 3D tv?
    _______

    Probably because the 3D TV market is dying and noone cares.
  • -1 Hide
    marthisdil , August 16, 2013 1:03 PM
    I wouldn't want a PS3...why? One word. Cinavia.

    Cinavia sucks. Period
  • -1 Hide
    marthisdil , August 16, 2013 1:03 PM
    Parsian , August 15, 2013 8:55 AM
    I dunno man, I think ill rather pay more and pick up the PS4 because it supports 4K content as well and no need to have my HTPC there any longer.

    =============

    Cinavia.
  • -1 Hide
    RedJaron , September 23, 2013 2:30 PM
    I can think of lots of reasons for this.

    First, the PS3 is still arguably the best Blu-ray player on the market. Second, this can be a whole media server in your home. Third, with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, you've got all the main streaming services supported right out of the box.

    12GB is enough for disc games and downloading a few casual games. Want more space? Throw in any 2.5" SATA drive.

    A top-line Blu-ray player, video streamer, media center, and gaming console all for $200? Heckuva deal, IMNSHO.
  • -1 Hide
    knowom , September 25, 2013 2:30 AM
    " Probably because the 3D TV market is dying and noone cares." I've never seen a convincing 3D movie yet maybe if I could watch people have real life seizure's in 3D I might be more convinced by it and be like OMG that was so real and life like!! Until then though 3D is just a stupid gimmick as far as I'm concerned.

    Besides that "True 3D TV" would need to replicate 360's of viewing angle that could change based around the individual viewers viewing perspective.

    The closest thing to that is perhaps that vocaloid and 2pac hologram stuff, but hardly consumer feasible.
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