Cheaper PS3 loses HDMI, slots, Wi-Fi, 40GB

PS3 SKU comparison montage
As you can see above, there are a few things different between the two PS3 SKUs planned. (Hint: the obvious alterations concern high-def output and wireless connectivity -- though Bluetooth controllers should work just fine with both, with or without any chrome case highlighting.)

So what's HDMI, built-in multimedia card-reader slots, wireless internet connectivity, and an extra 40 gigabytes' hard disk space worth to you? $100? Now that Sony's gone with the 2-SKU approach with its next-gen hardware (a la the Xbox 360's premium and "Core" systems), we can expect some tough consumer choices after six months -- with console shortages possibly for another six months after that -- as $100 separates the base $499 and premium $599 versions of Sony's "Clear Black" hope.

HDMI is important to those who want to take full advantage of Blu-ray high def and have the new screens to use it; MemoryStick, SD, and CompactFlash slots would be nice for the PS3 memory-card users and those will run multimedia on the system; Wi-Fi's the only way to avoid stringing ethernet cables for online access; and 360 owners might appreciate the full 60GB available to potential buyers of the premium PS3 model. Neither model comes with a second HDMI port; thankfully, one should hopefully be all most users need. The details are laid out in a feature-comparison table at the end of Sony's official PS3 hardware press release, available in both Adobe Reader and Microsoft Word formats. Determine what's most important to your PS3 ambitions there.

[Image pieced together from the PlayStation.com forums; thanks, Guru]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.