As widely predicted, Sony officials have unveiled a redesigned version of the PlayStation 2, to be released world-wide this year. The internal volume of the console has been reduced by 75%, the weight halved and the thickness cut from 7.8cm to 2.8cm. This makes it almost the size of a hard cover book, as you can see from this comparison shot of the console next to an ordinary DualShock controller.
The console will also now come with an integrated Ethernet port for online gaming, giving it parity with the Xbox’s claim of online connectivity 'out of the box'. There is some confusion over connections for the PlayStation 2 hard drive though, with support seemingly cut for the underused peripheral. The similarly underused iLink port has also been removed, and an infra-red receiver has been added for the DVD remote controller – in line with previous changes to the larger version of the console.
Unexpectedly, the newly redesigned console is not yet being referred to as the PStwo (a name which the company trademarked last year), and there has been no announcement on pricing. Although it was widely believed that the re-designed console would be sold for around 15% less than the current iteration, the latest rumors suggest that the price will remain unchanged in all territories.
However, since these official announcements have been broadly in line with previous rumors and expectations, the suggestion that Sony will be releasing an official new-style PlayStation 2 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
bundle is still entirely possible. In any case, the new look console will be released in the U.S. and Europe on 1st November, and in Japan on 3rd November.