The rumours have been flying around the Internet for a couple of months now, and over the last few weeks those rumours have been gaining momentum with various retailers in the USA, Europe, and UK leaking stock lists or photos indicating the existence of the PlayStation 3 Slim.

Kaz Hirai (you know who he is, he’s that loopy as HELL CEO for Sony Computer Entertainment who says things like the PS3 is intentionally difficult to program for – so entertaining!) just hopped up onto the stage at Sony’s presser to make what we’ve all been expecting for MONTHS finally official.

The PS3 Slim will hit beginning of September, but actual release dates will vary from region to region. Hirai said that the unit will be available in all regions by the end of September.

That "Copyright 2009" there means this is the real deal at last

That "Copyright 2009" there means this is the real deal at last

The cost of the new unit will be $299 in the United States, €299 across Europe and ¥29980 in Japan. The unit will have the same functionality as the current PS3 models, and a 120GB drive. It will also be 33% smaller and 36% lighter. No return of backwards compatibility, though… boo!

Kaz also confirmed a price drop for the current PlayStation 3 models. Keep your eyes peeled on our local retailers to see what prices will do. Expect an update to this post as soon as local prices take a dip. Hold thumbs!

UPDATE (27 August 2009): Kalahari.net has added the PS3 Slim to their hardware list. It’s available for pre-order and will only set you back R3 699.95. Look on the bright side: that’s only R400.00 more expensive than a Wii. Yeah, that didn’t help me justify it either.