While rumours have been swirling that Sony will be announcing a PS3 Slim, the company has stated earlier that it "currently has no plans" for a redesign. That was then, this is now.
Today, pictures of what appears to be a redesigned PS3 have appeared on Chinese message boards. The picture seem to come from a manufacturing plant.
There is stuff about these grainy, blurry pics that does make them look rather dubious — mainly the new logo (bye bye SPIDERMAN FONT!) and the questionable-looking plastic shell casing. It looks more like a PS3 knock-off than a Sony redesign.
A logo change during the middle of the PS3's console life is rather suspicious, because during the PS2-era, Sony did not change the console's logo. However, Ken Kutaragi, father of the PlayStation, was running the show. He's not anymore. These photos don't just show a hardware configuration, but a hardware rebranding: The logo has changed from PLAYSTATION 3 to the shorter PS3 branding.
As seen with the slimmer PlayStation consoles Sony has released in the past, a PS3 Slim does seem inevitable. But is it inevitable right now? If so, is this the machine? This is all exceedingly heavy on the rumour and speculation, so we're not 100 percent convinced. Then again, we first saw the PSP-3000 through dodgy pics (quick reminder here and here).
What does look convincing is that box. If there's anything to pin your hopes and dreams on, it's that piece of cardboard.