Sony has revealed they considered ditching HDD for flash drives, or do away with local storage altogether, saving to PlayStation Network.
Masayuki Chatani from Sony Computer Entertainment, in an interview with Nikkei, spilled some of the more drastic ideas the top executives had in making it Slim.
"It was pretty tough to squeeze a power-hungry piece of equipment like the PS3, drawing up to 250W, into a case this small, complete with power supply. I think it's a very advanced design, and am really proud of the engineers who achieved it," said Chatani.
That was the other consideration, moving the power supply to an external piece of kit much like the newer PS2 design did. "...the case could have been made even smaller if we'd left the power supply on the outside, but that would have imposed restrictions on transport and use, making it harder to use freely." Xbox 360 has an external 'power brick'.
"There isn't any single technology that really made the smaller size possible, though, like reducing semiconductor dissipation. It's a cumulative effect, including things like improving the cooling system." Dropping internal HDD helped the PS2 redesign.
"We don't have any intention of doing that in the PS3 at this time, though. One of the best features of the PS3 is that people can download games to the internal local storage unit and play comfortably." Network storage or Flash memory was thrown around though.
"We considered both options, but felt that the price would be too high for the amount of storage capacity the PS3 needs." Using the network to handle data storage would also require a serious upgrade to infrastructure to manage all that bandwidth.
"HDD data read/write speeds are up to tens of Mbyte/s or better, and it would require a very fast backbone network to deliver that kind of performance, simultaneously to multiple households," he explained.
"The technological demands are very tough, as are the economics involved." Sony already hands off server maintenance to third-party care, and recently PSN buckled under the strain of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 when it launched. Own a PS3 Slim?