Sony has announced some upcoming updates to its console-gaming line, including a slimmer PlayStation 3, PlayStation Plus for the Vita hand-held console, and games for PlayStation Mobile.
Most significant, the-long rumored even-slimmer PlayStation 3 is now official: The company says it is 20 percent lighter and roughly 25 percent smaller (at 1.4 x 2.3 x 9 inches) than the current PS3 system. A $270 package goes on sale on September 25, including 250GB of memory; a couple of games, Uncharted 3: Game of the Year Edition and Dust 514; and a $30 voucher to purchase digital content for the latter, a combination first-person shooter and multiplayer online game.
Then on October 30, you'll be able to buy a $300 version of the new PS3 with 500GB of memory and Assassin's Creed III, a bloody and popular action-adventure game. The new PS3 system comes in "charcoal black"; it will be available in white as well, but only in Japan for now.
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As for the PlayStation Vita, Sony's PlayStation Plus service will now be available on that hand-held gaming device. PlayStation Plus ($50 a year) gives subscribers access to free games and discounts on digital content. Sony announced a few new games for the Vita as well, but not enough to really bolster the system's thin lineup.
And finally we heard about an update to PlayStation Mobile, Sony's mobile gaming service: Exclusive games begin to arrive on October 3. 30 games will be available at launch and accessible from The PS Vita and all other PlayStation Certified mobile devices—both phones and tablets.
We'll be purchasing and testing the new, slimmer PS3 as soon as it is available; watch for an overall update to our game-hardware buying advice soon!