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(Pocket-lint) - We've been pretty sure that Sony was planning a "super-slim" version of the PS3 for a while now - since July, in fact - but now it's official. And you won't even have to wait too long to get your hands on one - it hits the UK on 28 September.

Or, at least, a 500GB hard drive model does. An all-new "family friendly" 12GB flash memory version will hit stores on 12 October.

The internal weight and volume of the new PS3 is 25 and 20 per cent less respectively than the current console - itself released as a "slim" PlayStation 3.  It's smaller and lighter by more than half in comparison to the first generation PS3.

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It still essentially looks the same, but has a top-loading sliding disc cover. This'll be no use to those who have it nestled in a busy AV cabinet, as you'll have to reach in each time to change discs, but most should be okay with that. And there's an optional vertical stand that's being launched for those who want to set it free.


The hard-drive model has seen its capacity improved, from the current 160GB and 320GB versions to 500GB. This is, presumably, in direct response to the rapid rise of downloadable titles through the PlayStation Store, and is indicative of the way things will progress.

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However, Sony isn't catering just for those with the broadband speeds capable of handling mass downloads, it's also for families who don't need to store as much data, and may not even use it for gaming as much.

This is where the 12GB flash memory model comes in. There is a 250GB hard drive add-on being released concurrently, but by keeping out of the console, Sony reduces the price to make it much more affordable. There are some Pocket-lint knows who use their their PS3 only for Blu-ray playback and Netflix, and they would be more than happy with the 12GB edition.

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Clearly this will be the last great push for the PlayStation 3, and a sign that the company is readying its PS4 for launch in 2013 - most likely at E3 in June.

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The 500GB super-slim PS3 will be launched in a pack with FIFA 13 and although we're still to find out a UK price, it'll be 299 euros (£240) in mainland Europe. The 12GB version will be 229 euros (£183).

If the British price does translate exactly, you might want to snap up the existing PS3 console now. Amazon is currently listing the 160GB model at £184.99. Just saying.

Writing by Rik Henderson.