Despite the rumours that foretold it, I’m going to go ahead and say that I was NOT expecting Sony to announce a new, slimmer, lighter PlayStation 3.

But that’s exactly what the company just did at the Tokyo Game Show 2012 press conference.

The new console comes in Charcoal Black and Classic White, and will be available with either a 250GB or 500GB harddrive. According to Sony, the new console is 20 percent smaller and 25 percent lighter than the current generation PlayStation 3 “Slim”.

Unlike previous PS3 models, the new form factor will not include a sliding disk input, and instead will have a sliding door panel on top which will open up to allow users to place their disk inside it.

Sony has confirmed that the 250GB console will be available in North America from 25 September for $269.99 (R2, 270). The 500GB version will be available from 30 October for $299.99 (R2, 520).

Europeans will get the 500GB model for €299.99 and a 12GB flash memory model for €229.99. A 250GB standalone drive will be released at the same time.

There is no word on local pricing or availability on the new range of PlayStation 3 consoles.

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