PS3 Slim to replace current hardware

Sony made quite a stir, albeit an expected one, when Kaz Hirai announced the long-rumored hardware update for the PlayStation 3 during their presentation at GamesCom. Now hardware marketing director John Koller is saying that the svelte new 120 GB PS3 will be sending the remainder of its husky brethren to join the 20, 40, and 60 GB models in Sony’s ever-expanding console graveyard.

The current hardware configuration improves the cell processor’s power consumption and has also put a new cooling system into place. Backwards compatibility with PS2 software is a no-go however and the feature is completely “off the table,” according to Koller. The on/off switch from the back of the console has been permanently removed as well. Koller says these changes will greatly reduce production costs and will instigate “substantial market increase in the sales base of PlayStation 3.”

The lighter, more affordable Slim will hit shelves September 1st. If, how soon, and how will Microsoft react will be something to watch for. We’ve been seeing rumors of a price drop for the Xbox 360 recently, so it’s certainly possible that Microsoft has something up their sleeve as well.