PS3? Rumors? Pfft.

Sony’s seemingly apparent lack of an ability to prevent the spread of crazy rumors that later turn out to be true hasn’t stopped it from poking fun at itself while playing the innocent bystander.

For a long while now, everyone had been speculating that the PS3 would become smaller (like the slim PS2) and that a price drop was imminent. To many, this made sense in order to help bolster its numbers against its rivals and to give consumers another reason to choose it instead.

The only question was when and it didn’t help that Sony’s poker face held up in the face of rampant speculation and scrutiny. Even at their past news conference at E3, SCEA President and CEO, Jack Tretton, had joked with the crowd in saying that they at least kept one thing quiet with the surprise announcement of Final Fantasy XIV, taking it all in stride. But with the news of the new price drop at Gamescom, Sony’s starting to come out swinging with a nicely sized funny bone.

A clever commercial celebrating the new price point has come out along with another piece reminding everyone that it does everything aside from being able to launch satellites (although I’m sure someone is thinking of how). I like the approach that they’re taking with these and hope to see what else they’ll do. It’s certainly head and shoulders above their previous artsy attempts that were almost as disturbing as finding the Burger King in bed with you.

Update 9.7.09:
I had a feeling that saying “Nigerian millionaire” was going to ruffle a few feathers, even though it was a clear hint to the advance-fee scams made infamous via e-mail. The new commercial replaces the line following the part where he says you can’t believe everything on the internet with “That’s how World War 1 started.”…which is bizarre. That makes as much sense as saying “That’s why Caesar was stabbed.”. I guess in this case, retroactive humor is hard, but you can still watch the original below.

The new PS3, tiny and bold

In case you haven’t hear, there’s some news from Sony at Gamescom in Germany — a smaller, less pricier version of the PS3. The PS3 Slim is real. Even the price is smaller, checking in at $299. You can hear SCEA lead dog Jack Tretton give a rundown of the system over at the PlayStation blog.

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I like the design. I like the price, especially since I got my original monolith PS3 bundled with Uncharted and Motorstorm for a heap of cash. However, I also like being able to play stuff like God of War, Vagrant Story, Shadow of the Colossus, Okami and a bunch of other PS2 classics. It was actually a big selling point for me. I imagine a lot of people are going to see this as the tipping point to go and get one. (or, perhaps 360 owners are sick of worrying about their system red-ringing every time they turn it on). However, I’m also curious to see what happens in regards to trade-ins. Anger? Rage? Or a silent resignation that you wanted to be an early adopter, succeeded, and probably knew something like this was going to occur?

Other highlights: It uses less power, which means it’s not going to make as much noise as the earlier black fortress edition that everyone has. Thing is, compared to the 360, the PS3 is practically the Red October in terms of silent running. So that’s not really a major selling point for me — besides, are you really going to notice system noise when Kratos is disemboweling centaurs in HD? The volume’s not going to be up for that? Other cute tech bits include “Bravia Sync,” which enables Bravia TV’s XMB (cross-media bar) to be controlled through the PS3. There’s also a feature that turns off the PS3 when the TV shuts down, because apparently we can’t have people mustering the energy to push another button.

We’ll get to see how this plays out, starting Sept. 1. My original PS3 is staying where it is, unless our new dog does something menacing to it.