Over the last two months or so there has been a growing worldwide shortage of PlayStation 3 consoles. Most people that I have spoken to seemed to have believed that this was due to the increasing demand for the machine whilst Sony struggled to make enough to go around, especially in lieu of their hard hitting ad campaigns for both Heavy Rain and God Of War 3.
However, like with most hardware shortages there is something else at work behind the scenes. In this case an internal revision of the insides found in both the 120GB and 250GB model slim PS3’s. First discovered at a site called PocketNews, we lay out the info for you right here at IQGamer.
The latest revision of the console, which should come with the CECH-2100A model number, features a new 45nm size RSX GPU shrunk down from its existing 65nm production node, and keeps the existing 45nm version of the CELL CPU from a previous process reduction. With this also comes a smaller cooling solution, and a lighter power supply unit, which naturally draws less electricity to match the reduced power in put required by the internals.
In addition to these changes, the system’s traditional use of four separate 64MB XDR RAM modules has been replaced with two 128MB versions instead. Again keeping overall costs and complexity down. The motherboard has also seen a reworking in order to accommodate these new components, being simpler to construct, and cheaper as a result.
With all the changes at hand inside the machine, it makes this latest revision of the slim PS3 the cheapest, coolest running, and most power efficient version of the console yet. This should translate into an increase in revenue made on each console, maybe even allowing a route to another price drop further down the line. Seeing as both Natal and PlayStation Move being launched in fall of this year, Sony are clearly positioning themselves to allow a better degree of flexibility on both machine pricing and maximising their revenue stream, with an eye, no doubt, into closing the ever smaller gap between both PS3 and 360 consoles.
Now that these new PS3 slims are rolling off the production line and into stores, there should be an end in sight for the shortage that has hampered PS3 sales recently. I expect there to be an abundance of shiny new consoles at your local retail outlet in the next couple of weeks. If not, then shortly thereafter.
Update: It has since been confirmed by Sony that the process node used for the new RSX inside these latest slim consoles is in fact a 40nm one, and not at 45nm as originally thought. This is rather surprising news, seeing as nobody thought that Sony would be using its 40nm fabrication process for its PS3 GPU. It was original going to be used for memory components only.