At this year's Tokyo Game Show, Sony unveiled its latest iteration of PlayStation 3, which sports a new design and significantly smaller form factor. The console will be produced in three versions: a 500 GB hard drive model, a 250 GB hard drive model, and a budget-friendly 12 GB flash memory model, though the latter is initially slated for European consumers only.

Sony reports that the PS3's refresh goes more than skin deep, and involves a complete redesign of the console's internal architecture. This has resulted in a significantly smaller footprint, with the new PS3 reduced 25 percent in weight, and 20 percent in size, when compared to the most recent model. Perhaps more impressively, the new PS3 is also just half the size of the original PS3 launched in 2006.

The latest version of PS3 is just half the size of the original unit which launched in 2006

The super-slim PS3 measures roughly 290 x 60 x 230 mm (11 x 2.3 x 9 inches), weighs 2.1 kg (4.6 lb), and sports a sliding disk cover. It is available in black and white, and though the Europe-only 12 GB flash storage version does seems rather paltry in capacity, Sony states that it will be expandable with a dedicated 250 GB hard drive which is to be released on launch.

Availability and pricing is somewhat complex and varies upon region:

U.S. gamers can pick up the 250 GB model PS3 from September 25 as part of Sony’s Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception Game of the Year Edition bundle, for US$269 (which also includes a voucher for over $30 worth of digital content). The 500 GB version arrives on American shores on October 30 for $299 and will be bundled with Assassin’s Creed III.

In Europe, the 500 GB option arrives September 28 as part of the FIFA 13 bundle, for €299.99, with the 12 GB flash storage model arriving a couple of weeks later on October 12, for €229.99.

Meanwhile, Japan is set to receive both the 500 GB and 250 GB versions of the new PS3 on October 4, at a price of ¥29,800 and ¥24,900, respectively.

The availability and pricing of the PS3 in other territories is still to be announced.

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