Our sources who have been able to get a firsthand look at the new PlayStation 3 Super Slim have reported that Sony has engaged in some serious cost cutting to make the new price point work. The construction of the previous PlayStation 3 units has been very solid as far as the build quality of the product, but this time around it is built cheap, and there is no other way of saying it.
The biggest issue seems to be with the sliding lid that slides over to close the Blu-ray drive on the unit, which replaces the slot loading design that previous units have used. It isn’t very solid and moves around at lot. While we don’t know if it is prone to breakage yet, it does seem to be a candidate for this.
The unit itself is very small and the choice of plastic that encases the unit isn’t going to win any awards; it is prone to pick up fingerprints, which isn’t good. Despite the small size of the unit, all of the ports and functionality is there. This includes the ability to expand the hard drive (on units that ship with a hard drive). For those that don’t like the 12GB flash memory unit that is being offered outside North America, it would appear that you are going to need the mounting bracket to install a hard drive into the unit. We have heard whispers this is why Sony is planning on offering a special upgrade kit, which includes not only the hard drive but the hard drive bracket and blue mounting screw. Don’t expect this kit to be as cheap as you can buy a hard drive for.
The unit uses an eject button that offers no firm feel and will be another area (along with the drive cover) that we expect to hear a lot of complaining about. While cost cutting is something that all companies do, it seems that perhaps Sony went a bit too far with the PS3 Super Slim. Still, many of these are likely to be sold and only time will tell how durable they will be over the long haul.