Sony's flash-based PlayStation 3 console has just arrived in North America. Sony will be offering the console for $199 at Future Shop and Best Buy in the two countries. The company will also be offering a the console with with 'Uncharted 3' and 'The Last of Us' for $259.98.
Not much has been said or seen about the flash-based version of the PS3. There are some drawbacks and benefits to Sony's cheapest console that you'll want to know about before buying - especially since Sony is expected to release another PlayStation console later this year.
What the Flash-Based PS3 Includes
This version of the PS3 comes with:
12 GB of storage
2.5-inch flash drive
Support for 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi
The flash-based PS3 is Sony's lowest priced console. All of this might sound good, but there are a few things that this PlayStation doesn't include as well.
Here's what the new flash-based PS3 does not include:
A hard drive
That's enough of an exclusion to deter some gamers. If you purchase your games via disc or only want to play a few indie games, those 12GB might just be enough to satisfy you. If not, you will need to purchase a hard drive to connect to your new PS3, and that might come with some things that you'll want to consider very carefully.
How to Attach a Drive to Your Flash-Based PS3
You can, in fact, install a drive in the console's HDD slot. Just note that the 12GB flash will likely be disabled when you do install a HDD drive. It will also pay to keep in mind the height of the HDD, since some drives will be too big for the console. There's one more really important thing to remember when considering installing a drive.
Make sure that the drive you purchase is compatible with the PS3! You may also want to buy a HDD mounting bracket (available via Amazon). That said, installing a separate drive really shouldn't take more than thirty minutes to complete, and you'll get a $199 console for your efforts (of course, you have to add up the price of the drive in order to see if the console is actually worth $199). Is the new flash-based PS3 for you?
To Wait or Not to Wait
Should you buy a flash-based PS3? Only if you intend to install a hard-drive or you are perfectly content buying games on disc. Otherwise, I suggest holding out for the newest PlayStation to arrive, which should just be a couple of months now. Granted, that newer version will retail for $200+, but that might not be such a bad price when you consider what you get.
The flash-based console might be a great gift for a kid that likes games, or for someone that doesn't care about going the digital game route. Otherwise, it's a relatively slim and compact console that may not sell as well in North America as it did in Europe. If you do happen to be near a Best Buy or Future Shop, make sure to stop and check out the new console.