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Differences in the Slim and Fat PlayStation 3

By Andy Josiah ; Updated September 15, 2017

The "Fat" and "Slim" PlayStation 3, or PS3, are references to the original and redesigned versions of the third video game console -- and third entry of the PlayStation series, after the PS1 and the PS2 -- from Japan-based consumer electronics manufacturer Sony Corp. The Fat PS3 is the original model. Released in 2006, it is characterized by an outward bulge at one of its sides. The PS3 Slim succeeded the Fat PS3 in 2009 with a smaller and thinner build. At the time of publication, it is still in production. Although size is the main difference between the two iterations of the PS3, other differences exist. They include storage capacity, number of certain connectors, and backwards compatibility.

Physical Dimensions and Weight

During its production run, the Fat PlayStation 3 had up to the following dimensions: a width of 12.8 inches, or 325 millimeters; height of 3.86 inches, or 98 mm; and length of 11.5 inches, or 290 mm. Its peak weight was 11.02 lbs., or 5 kilograms. The Slim PS3, by comparison, is smaller and lighter. It has a width and depth of 11.42 inches, or 290 mm; height of 2.56 inches, or 65 mm; and weight of 7.05 lbs., or 3.2 kg.

Storage Capacity

Sony produced the Fat PlayStation 3 with five data storage capability choices during its production run: 20GB, 40GB, 60GB, 80GB and 160GB. The Slim PS3, at the time of publication, has four: 120GB, 160GB, 250GB and 320GB. Only the 160GB and 320GB are in production at the time of publication, with manufacturer's suggested retail prices of $300 and $350, respectively.

USB Ports

The 20GB, 60GB and 80GB versions of the Fat PlayStation 3 -- released on November 2006, March 2007 and August 2007, respectively -- were designed with four USB 2.0 ports to connect up to four vibration-feedback game pads that Sony designed for the PlayStation series of game consoles called Sixaxis and DualShock. Other PlayStation 3 models have two USB 2.0 ports instead.

Backwards Compatibility

The 20GB, 60GB and 80GB models of the Fat PS3 possess the ability to play PS1 and some PS2 games. With the arrival of the Fat PS3's 40GB model on October 2007, however, PS2 compatibility was removed. The feature was also missing on the newer 80GB model, which debuted on August 2008, as well as later Fat PS3 models and the PS3 Slim.

About the Author

Andy Josiah started writing professionally in 2006. He has worked for companies such as CarsDirect and Rainking. Josiah holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Maryland and a Master of Professional Studies in journalism from Georgetown University.