Even though it won't hit retail shelves in the US until the first week of September, we've had the uncommon opportunity to open the box and offer our first impressions of the svelte console on the day of its announcement. We've documented the unboxing in the photo gallery below, along with a variety of pictures showing the PS3 Slim compared to other consoles, so you can get a better idea of its size (or, compared to the original PS3, its lack thereof).
Our initial impressions: It's definitely smaller, but not shockingly so. (Want shocking? Check out the PS2 "slim" on top of it.) It's still a hefty system that feels well made, and even though it lacks the gloss black and chrome finish of the original PS3, it's a lot nicer looking in person that the initial photos might have led you to believe. There's still a bit of pizazz in the form of a thin piece of glossy translucent plastic covering the eject / power button "panel" that looks extra classy.
Overall, it's about as pared down as we can imagine the platform getting feature-wise; we're curious to see if Sony introduces yet another, considerably smaller redesign a couple of years down the road. Oh, and maybe it will actually come with an HDMI or some component cables ... and not the Slim's composite A/V leads. Seriously, Sony? Seriously?
We'll have our video of the unboxing up soon. In the meantime, let us know in comments if there's anything particular you'd like us to go into more detail on; we'll be compiling the answers to your questions about the hardware for an upcoming post.