Meet The Slimmer, Lighter, Linux Incompatible PS3

By Spencer . August 18, 2009 . 4:01pm


Here’s the new PlayStation 3 model compared to its chunkier older brother. In addition to being lighter, the slim PS3 and its standard 120GB hard drive consumes 33% less power and makes less fan noise.


Unfortunately, the slim model doesn’t support third party operating systems like Linux. A press release from Sony states, “the new PS3 system will focus on delivering games and other entertainment content, and users will not be able to install other Operating Systems to the new PS3 system.”


Bummer for the tech savvy crowd, but Joe new PlayStation 3 purchaser, and arguably current PlayStation 3 owners, won’t miss it. I find it interesting that Sony removed the feature, though. Is the new hardware really that different or did Sony take out option operating system support for another reason?


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  • It is slimmer but will take up on my shelf. Doesn’t make it better space wise since this one will hang over my shelf!

  • My take on Linux being removed is simple: Security.

    I just have a feeling that you could basically make it to where that console is your b*tch for piracy concerns at one point in time…even though Sony, this time around, seems to have it under the gun for that.

    But it’s the only thing that makes any bit of sense.

  • Alright! Glad I waited. I like how it looks like a square instead of a coffin now.

  • Aoshi00

    So this is it huh, can’t say it’s a very attractive design, but I’m kind of bugged by my PS3’s noisy fan.. I guess the new model is not B/C right? If it is, I’m definitely getting a Jpn one just to play my old PS/PS2 imports.

    • In the same press release, Sony said that this was not B/C and there will never be B/C on the PS3. Might aswell get an emulator to play your PS2 discs.

      • Aoshi00

        Yeah, I read this post first instead of the first one. I do currently have a Jpn slim PS2 hooked up, and realistically I didn’t expect the cheaper slim model to have B/C on top of all the advantages, just my wish of playing imports via HDMI upscaled. At least I can still play my US PS2 library w/ the original PS3…

        Right now I have two of each systems (PS2, Wii, & 360) one US and one Jpn. I thought if this has B/C, then I would double dip on day 1. Nevertheless, I would probably still get this down the road. Got freaking 2 PSPs and 3 DSs alrdy :(…

      • Ereek

        Where, please tell me, does the press release say it will never happen? They certainly could add it in an update later, as doubtful as it may be.

        As far as I’m aware, the press release with specs only says:
        Note: This product is not compatible with PlayStation®2 games.

      • QBasic

        Now, that’s a clear-cut bullshit statement, and you know it considering the latest software patent Sony filed which involves last-gen software emulation.

        • TurkeyPotPie

          This interview with John Koller indicates that PS2 BC is gone for good. Those patents involved Cell emulation IIRC, while the holdup with software based BC has always been GS emulation.

          • QBasic

            Dude….cell emulation patenting IS for software emulation! That’s the whole frakking purpose behind it. Enlighten me what they could possibly be planning with cell emulation outside of popular speculation.

            And speculation it may be, keep in mind that’s how the PS3 Slim took off. That pretty little picture you see in the article. Now, do you want me to link to a dozen different sources, articles, and interviews from Sony officials that outright deny the existence or any planning stages of a PS3 Slim from roughly 3 months back at the latest? In THIS thread? That debunk it as speculation?

            Like the Slim, when emulation arrives, it’ll be touted as a heavy-hitter feature. I’m not denying the negative popular belief from fanboy posturing; I’m simply looking at it from a business standpoint.

            I’ve learned to take answers from officials based on speculative and intrusive questions as less than butter, lacking the flapjack. It’s a wait-n-see situation.

          • TurkeyPotPie

            Not sure what you’re getting so worked up about. Of course the Cell patent filings are for PS2 emulation (there’s been a stream of them for the past three years starting before the PS3 was released). The plan all along was to have full software emulation at some point (Kutaragi specifically mentioned this). However, all these patents have involved Cell emulation. Sony apparently have not gotten the GS emulation problem licked, and until they do there won’t be full software BC. Why do you think the partially BC PS3s still had a GS chip in them?

            That a patent was granted a few months ago doesn’t mean that Sony is still actively working on PS2 emulation. Patents take a while to file and process. The work described in that last patent could have been done long ago when Sony was still working on supporting the partial BC PS3s. When was the last time Sony significantly improved compatibility in PS2 software emulation?

            PS2 compatibility would be great from a business standpoint? No kidding. Whether Sony can do it in software from an engineering standpoint remains to be seen.

          • QBasic

            XD Did I seem worked up? lol, Sorry, my bad. I didn’t really mean it to be that way.

            I’m just saying that patents are a reason not to think negatively. And when asking an official about speculative information, take what they say with a grain of salt at most, since it’s basically their job to keep things under wrap til the time is right. That’s no real reason to think negatively. It’s bad karma, man! :P

          • TurkeyPotPie

            Apparently, there is a thread depth limit. This is in response to QBasic’s karma reply :)

            Don’t get my wrong, I would love to see PS2 BC return. I’ve been avidly following the patent filings because I find them fascinating and hope that Sony can get full emulation working. However, I haven’t seen a single filing on emulating the GS. Before the slim’s unveiling, I had hoped that Sony would put the GS chip back in. Without that chip or some breakthrough in GS emulation, I really don’t have much hope of seeing PS2 BC return. And it is really mind-boggling to me that Sony will let that go, not so much for the bullet point on the side of the box, but that they are foregoing resales of PS2 games on PSN in the future. Although given Sony’s miserable record of PS1 releases outside of Japan, perhaps expecting a lot of PS2 games on PSN is a pipe dream (actually maybe I am just a gloomy cynic, heh).

          • MadMirko

            But they axed BC _because_ they were looking at it from a business standpoint.

            People playing their old games on the new machine didn’t make them money. It would probably have been different if hardware sales were good back then (or ever), but they needed a way to make license-money from people buying new PS3 games.

            A good way to start was prevent them from playing already bought games.

            The non-BC units didn’t sell significantly worse than the BC units, and were also cheaper to manufacture. For Sony that’s 2 pros and no cons.

          • superdry

            I think we’ll see software backwards compatibility come back once SONY stops selling PS2 hardware. The PS2 is still selling decently and that adds money to SONY’s coffers. I kind of understand why they don’t want to do it at this juncture.

            What would be nice is if the PS3 slim did not have the dome top so one can stack a PS2 slim on top of it to save some space.

  • Tofuuu

    *sigh* i became impatient and bought a PS3 at the beginning of the summer… an 80 GB for $399… -_-;; what great timing i have…

    • I feel your pain. I’ve done he same thing. Oh well, at least it doesn’t have backwards compatibility. Because THAT would have made me freak.

      • Tofuuu

        hahaha… that’s scary to think about :)

  • TurkeyPotPie

    Linux (and any other OS support) is probably gone due to fears about someone using it to crack the system’s security. Also, there are likely so few users actually using or caring about Linux, what is the point of supporting it? Just another thing to have to test for or support, and Sony doesn’t have the money now. The original PS3 design was over-engineered (I loved it, but it had a lot of things not needed in a game machine), and after Kutaragi was out of the picture, Sony has been trimming the system down to what it probably should have been in the first place.

    I like the new design. It’s a little too square, but the difference in height is pretty big. I also like the matte finish since the fat PS3 is a fingerprint and dust magnet. I would love to pick up one of these if my fat PS3 ever dies, because my PS3 gets pretty loud during the warmer part of the year. Maybe when they move the GPU to 45nm (I think this model only has the Cell at 45nm).

    • Aoshi00

      Matte is definitely good since glossy piano black is a dust magnet, believe or not, I cover my PS3 w/ a cloth just like people do cars, lol… funny the phat DS was matte, then Lite glossy, and DSi matte again. Glossy does look sleek, but it’s not practical, unless it’s in white color then fingerprints can’t be seen.

      Like you, the biggest reason to push me to get a 2nd slim would be reduced fan noise and energy efficiency. Sometimes I would just watch my mp4 videos w/ my Jasper 360 instead of the PS3 (unless it’s blu-ray movies of course), that’s how quiet I like it. And I assume the slim would be really quiet just like the 360 w/ the new chipset.

      EDIT: I don’t think my PS3 would ever die, knock on wood, but when I turned it on tonight, it says it couldn’t detect the hard drive then I had to hit reset and it’s fine again. It’s the first time it ever happen and kind of scared me there..

      • thebanditking

        Aoshi00, yes I have had that happen to mine as well. Though it had nothing to do with the system (internal or external) from my experience thats the first sign you HDD is about to fail, mine did this on and off for a few months then one day the HDD just died and my PS3 would be stuck in a dead loop of reformating and rebooting (if only solid state was cheaper). my advice is get an external drive and fast to back up your system and buy a new HDD.

        • Aoshi00

          Thanks for the advice, losing everything (gamesaves/themes/wallpapers/demos/videos) on the HDD would be crazy. The one I’m using now is 320Gb, think it’s because it’s too big that’s why it’s starting to fail? What’s the maximum HD space that’s recommended for PS3 anyway? I guess there is some good to 360’s expensive proprietary HDD huh. Actually I just accidentally deleted some precious save files (Lost Odyssey endgame) when I was trying to recover the gamertag, dang it..

          • thebanditking

            no worries there, I know people who have 500GB HDDs the problem is that hard drives are fickle and despite their advancements are not much different then when they were first designed. Meaning they have alot of moving parts (arms, platters, reader head) and all of that stuff continually running inside something thats as thick as a ball point pen, leads to things breaking. Its not your fault (I have a 320Gb as well) but sometimes HDDs last for years sometimes months, its just good to know how to read the tell tale signs of eventual failure. Sorry for the late reply if you need any help with this let me know

  • Zefiro Torna

    Anyone else glad that they ditched the Spider-Man film font? I hope they do the same with software packaging and revert back to the classic PlayStation font (with any of its two variations on the letter “a”).

  • No backwards compability? Yuck.

  • jarrodand

    Definite improvement visually (including the font/logo), though I wish they’d have stuck a GS in there for PS2 playback. Seems like a real missed opportunity imo, not only as a draw for PS2 owners, but as a revenue stream for PS2 games on PSN.

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