There's little doubt that Sony is deep in the process of developing a Playstation 4 gaming console (must pundits expect it to arrive for the 2013 holiday season) but it seems the company isn't done with the current generation yet.
On Friday Technoblog released images of a new PS3 model. The pictures apparently came from a Sony Brazil filing with the Brazilian Agency of Telecommunications. The listing has been taken down but not before Technoblog grabbed a copy of it. It claims there will be 3 new PS3 models, including one with only 16 GB of storage (along with 250 and 500 GB models). It looks like the new models will ditch the slot-loading Blu-ray drive for a drop-in/cover system. I think we can assume the new models will come with a healthy price drop.
Early this month Joystiq brought to light an FCC filing suggesting a new model PS3 was on the way; it seems pretty likely these two sources are referring to the same device.
A 16 GB PS3 seems like an odditity to me. Would it be sold as a Blu-ray player/media device that also plays games? The average 'core' gamer would quickly fill up 16 GBs of storage space (many PS3 games partially install to the console to speed loading). Early in this gaming generation Sony had a lead over Microsoft when it came to streaming offerings (e.g. Netflix, Hulu Plus, etc) but Microsoft has since put a lot of emphasis into turning the Xbox 360 into a media hub.
Perhaps Sony is getting ready to fight back?
Possibly related to this is the news (from the Playstation Blog) that Sony is the exclusive launch partner for the new NeonAlley 24-hour Anime channel. Additionally the PS3 will be getting a CrunchyRoll app this Fall. Both services will require a subscription.
Bringing anime to the PS3 seems like a smart move since, in general terms, the PS3 seems more "Eastern" than the Xbox 360. That's admittedly a gross generalization but since the PS3 is more popular than the 360 in Japan there tends to be more Japanese-developed games on the PS3. It follows that gamers who enjoy Japanese games might be more apt to also be interested in anime. Or maybe that's just me being old and hopelessly out of touch with what the younger generation is into.
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