back to article Hint of next PS3 spied on web

Whether it's the rumoured 40GB cut-down model or not, there does appear to be a further Sony PlayStation 3 console in the works. The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website currently lists a PS3 with the model number CECHG01 and its certification as a 'good neighbour' wireless device. Sony's US 60GB and 80GB PS3s …

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  1. Test Man

    Last paragraph

    "Some folk have speculated that Sony might be about to drop the Blu-ray Disc drive from the low-end product, which could have a big impact on pricing. But that seems unlikely given Sony's keenness to use the console to drive take-up of the next-gen video disc format."

    No, that would be almost 100% unlikely because the games themselves come on Blu-ray disc. No one would buy a unit if it couldn't play existing games.

  2. Darryl Ashton

    Blu-Ray?

    Surely they can't remove the Blu-Ray drive. Don't most of the existing PS3 games come on a Blu-Ray disc? At least, all of the ones I've seen have the Blu-Ray logo on the disc.

    It's like the USB-removal rumour (which is needed to charge existing controllers). I can't think of any hardware they could take out or change to reduce costs without impairing existing functionality, other than reducing the size of the hard drive. Or maybe networking or WiFi or something. But I think Blu-Ray movies require networking of some sort for updates and things.

  3. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Knights Temporal Matters ..... Hi Chi

    A Successful Universal Docking Machine, Sony San?

  4. Thomas Jolliffe

    No Blu-Ray? No PS3.

    "Some folk have speculated that Sony might be about to drop the Blu-ray Disc drive from the low-end product, which could have a big impact on pricing. But that seems unlikely given Sony's keenness to use the console to drive take-up of the next-gen video disc format."

    ...yeah, and it could also have a big impact on users...in that they wouldn't be able to play games on the damn thing.

    Great rumour. Really great.

  5. Matt Underwood

    Drop Blu-Ray drive?

    Seems unlikely as that's the delivery mechanism for the games.

  6. Mark

    They can't drop Blu Ray...

    ... as that's what the games come on!

    Unless of course Sony want to release a version of the PS3 which can't play Blu Ray films or games - wouldn't surprise me to be honest ;-)

  7. Scott

    No Blu-Ray - Not possible

    Seems like there is always someone coming up with what the next version won't have.

    Well, "dropping the Blu-Ray" could not be a possibility as games are on the Blu-Ray format. So, dropping that would mean it wouldn't be able to play the PS3 games, eh? It would end up being a slightly disabled PS2 (since the Emotion chip has already been removed and all software emulation now) with PS3 online content.

  8. Andy S

    don't ps3's

    use generic 2.5 inch laptop hard disks? if so it can't be saving much money on production with a 40gig drive as its hard to even find them under 80gig now, and they only cost £30 retail. I'd imagine sony would get them significantly cheaper for a production line.

    Look's like its an artificial price to me, i can't see any manufacturing price differences more than a couple of quid for the different sized disks currently on offer.

  9. Craig Powell

    Absense of Blu-ray

    "Some folk have speculated that Sony might be about to drop the Blu-ray Disc drive from the low-end product, which could have a big impact on pricing. But that seems unlikely given Sony's keenness to use the console to drive take-up of the next-gen video disc format."

    Plus, you wouldn't be able to play any games on the machine, what with them being on blu-ray discs too.

  10. Craig

    Sony will NEVER drop Blu-Ray from PS3

    Not that I particularly like Sony's refusal to create a single next gen dvd format or the PS3 for that matter but they will never drop Blu-Ray from the PS3.

    One of the benefits of console gaming is the fact that the hardware is a constant through out it's lifetime. A game made today for a PS3 will work the same on todays PS3 as a game created 5 years from now on a PS3 that is released 5 years from now.

    Removing the Blu-Ray drive means that in order to keep that consistancy all games would have to be released on DVD.

    If no game has been released yet on Blu-Ray then that is feasable but if even a single game has been released then that opens compatability problems never before seen in the console market.

    Along with this if Blu-Ray is removed then Sony is all but conceading that they will lose the "hi def dvd war".

  11. Nikomus

    Err...

    How could they take out the Blu ray, surely all of the game discs made so far are made for that? It would be super *not* cost effective to make every dev go back, make the textures look shody and cram it onto a DVD to be rereleased. I know not all the games fill up 25GB, but I heard someone complaining it wasn't enough for all their content. Might have been Sony "you need blu ray" propaganda though.

  12. Ben W

    "some folk..."

    Wouldn't have added that last paragraph, but unfortunatly you did!

    Bet your livid!!!

  13. Mark Duncan

    I think everyone might be missing the most important point

    I'm surprised no-one has mentioned that PS3 games come on blu-ray disc and therefore to remove it would make playing games on it impossible.

  14. Highlander

    Apply a little logic and you shall see...

    Craig - I think you'll find that Toshiba was at least as much to blame for the present "HD format war" and the refusal to agree on a single format.

    PS3 is expensive. Look at the thing, it's designed to look expensive. The case itself it expensive. But that shape also forces certain things in terms of the internal design. Those in turn drive up the costs because you have to use a certain quality of component.

    Let's say that the 65nm Cell and RSX are not available. Let's say that the BluRay drive can be more slimline now. Let's consider that less power will be needed if these simple assumptions (not outrageous assumptions in themselves either) are true.

    Perhaps, just perhaps mind, Sony will deliver a PS3 with two rather than 4 USB ports, perhaps they will remove the flash memory reader. Throw in 65nm chips a slimmer BD drive and a drastically cut component count on the motherboard. You might even get away with a more conventional heat sink/fan design for the system if the 65nm chips are cooler. Finally put it all in a PS3 casing without the gloss finish and chrome and perhaps even only cosmetic resemblance to the original high gloss PS3 case. Sign up Foxconn to make the thing and suddenly you have a pretty decent shot at cutting the costs of production and selling your system at a much lower price.

    There is no way that any PS3 will arrive without a BD drive. It's a core component of the platform. The other rumor that is doing the rounds is that they will strip out the remaining hardware for backwards compatibility, effectively dropping the PS2 compatibility completely. Sony has made so much of the backwards compatibility that I just don't see that happening. It would save them some money, however removing it would cost them in publicity more than they could hope to recoup with the cost saving. Playing PS1/PS2 and PS3 games on the PS3 is kind of a core capability and is there to stay.

    Given the costs of building a PS3 though, the cost of the PS2 component in the case is actually relatively limited. The major cost items are Cell, RSX, BD, motherboard, memory and casing. With a die shrink and other maturation of production and component costs there should be some substantial cost reductions available for a reconstituted PS3.

  15. Steve Barnes

    last paragraph (again)

    Do Reg reporters do ANY research whatsoever before reporting rumours or "stories?"

    It really seems like they don't! I know loads of people have already said it, but to confirm, EVERY single PS3 game has been made on Blu-Ray disc, not some, not most, ALL. And Sony have already said that they ALL will be.

    So whatever the "upgrade" or alteration(s) may be, that isn't / wont be it!

  16. Doug

    changing out the Blu-Ray

    I heard they'll be moving from Blu-Ray to HD-DVD. ;-)

    hint: it's a joke.

  17. tempestb

    Hard-Drive

    If they redesigned the case, they could be removing the 2.5" drive in favor of a 3.5". This would give them a greater price reduction. Especially if they happened to have found a manufacturer sitting on a bunch of old drive stock that they want to move out.

  18. Nikomus

    We've all said it now.

    I know they don't want anyone to have a complete Tourettes moment in the comments section, but the moderation makes us all sound like a bunch of idiots. It looks like there are no comments on an article, so you chip in with your little "but the games won't work" line, only to find when you look back later that 15 people already said that, and it wasn't really worth you bothering... can't El Reg just report comments with swearing, or blatently offensive language for human moderation, instead of all of them?

  19. Craig

    Next for PS3?

    Highlander - I didn't meen to single out Sony as the reason that we don't have a standard hi def dvd format. Just making the point that we don't have one. Since I was not in on the meetings I don't know the real reasons for the fallout. I remember last year that Sony and Toshiba were discussing it and it sounded like we would get away without a format war but then it fell apart. There are many rumors as to why it happened but that isn't the focus of this article.

    Sony may be removing the hardware chips that was the core of the initial backward compatibilty with little impact to anyone. They have already established a software emulation engine to perform backward compatability as well as removed the chip from the Euro versions so I don't see how that will effect anyone (slightly less compatible I know but not 0 either)

    Die shrinks and re-engineering are two of the biggest reductions in cost that can be done. It is very possible that they will be shrinking the die as soon as they can in order to reduce the loss they are incurring from each PS3 sale. Even with a die shrink I think that the case will remain about the same. The smaller chips would reduce heat output which would reduce the space required but until they can passively cool both chips I suspect they will stay with the same case design. At the time when all the components can be passively cooled we may see a much smaller case.

    I would also imagine that the hard drive will not be switched to a 3.5" drive simply for the cost savings. At the quantities that Sony purchases drives I don't think there is as large a difference and most 3.5" drives manufactured spin faster and consume more power then 2.5" drives.

    I suppose that with a die shrink reducing the heat from the cpu/gpu you would have the thermal envelope to change to a more power hungry drive but then you lose some of the space savings. Remember that the 3.5" drives aren't just wider but they are thicker too.

    My guess is that the new model number is nothing new at all. 80gig drive for Europe or maybe a 120/160gig drive for the US but nothing majorly new.

    I am predicting we have a different board layout, more unified bridge chip and maybe a RSX die shrink... nothing to see... nothing to cry home about.

  20. Tim Spence

    You can't remove the Blu-Ray drive...

    ...that's what the games come on!

    Has no one else realised that?

  21. Simon Wilson

    About Time....

    I used to have Xbox 360, but the red lights problem made me give it up. I want a PS3, but the pricing is a real issue. Sony have a excellent product, and if they could release a model for around 179 to max 259 , with a game. Would make me wanna buy it, Xbox 360 is still tempting me with Halo 3, but why by a console for one game. I will wait for Halo 3 to come out on the PC

  22. Krystan Honour

    I really can't see

    this helping sony one jot unless the price is significantly reduced. I currently want to buy a ps3 in its current incarnation, I don't want a reduced feature set, what I want is to not pay more for my machine than the americans or at least to have the price of the existing spec slashed. until this happens i won't buy a ps3.

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