Sony has announced a smaller, lighter PS3 ahead of the holiday shopping season.

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(Image source: PlayStation Blog ) BY EVAN THOMAS With time to spare in front of the holiday season, Sony has announced a smaller, lighter PS3 . The unveiling came just ahead of the Tokyo Games Show. Hard drive space is increased — either 250 or 500GB — in an even tinier footprint. Sony says the new PS3 is 20% smaller and 25% lighter than the previous version. Engadget got some glamour shots of the new console, which can sit in horizontal or vertical orientation. Sony says the white version is headed to Japan only — at least at first. But no matter the color, the new console is noticeably svelte . “You can see it’s close to the size of a laptop. It’s about half the size of the original model, introduced back in 2006.” And NBC News points out it’s not the first time Sony’s console has gone under the knife, either. The PS3 slim debuted in 2009, which then, as now, was a smaller, lighter, less power-hungry version of the original. But those looking for a slimmed-down price might be disappointed. The cheapest variant will be $270, almost the same as Sony’s current offering. SlashGear says it’s reasonable — even with the console industry trending toward a refresh. “All told, that isn’t a bad price for what you’re getting, and you can bet that Sony is going to net some sales from those who are new to the world of PS3 this holiday season.” The new PS3 will hit shelves on October 30, bundled with the game of the year version of Uncharted 3 and a content voucher for CCP’s persistent shooter Dust 514 .