Sony has announced a redesign of its PlayStation 3 console featuring a ‘downsized form factor’ – which means it’s even slimmer than 2009′s so-called PS3 Slim. The console will be available in two models, a 500GB hard drive version (launching 28th September), and a newly added 12GB flash memory model (launching 12th October).

The new design sees the internal volume and weight of the PS3 – which is also a blu-ray player – reduced by ‘more than half’ in comparison to the very first PS3 model, and by around 20% compared to the current “slim” PS3.

By upping the standard hard drive storage space to 500GB Sony is hoping to attract more PS3 owners to the virtues of its downloadable entertainment content – the likes of movies, music, games and demos – which can all be accessed through the company’s PlayStation Network (PSN).

The 12GB flash memory model meanwhile ‘offers opportunities to experience the world of PlayStation at an affordable price point,’ according to the official press release; with the initial 12GB also expandable by use of a dedicated 250GB drive to be released concurrently with the new PS3.

Keen to pledge its support to a console that many are expecting to be usurped by the PS4 next year Sony add that ‘SCE will further accelerate the expansion of the PS3 platform which is in the 7th year of its lifecycle, by continually releasing a vast library of exciting and attractive software titles and offering users a choice from a variety of hardware models.’

It certainly looks sleek (check out the image gallery) but with no RRP confirmed – Sony opting to leave the pricing up to individual retailers in a move reminiscent of Nintendo’s Wii U announcement – it’s hard to how much an upgrade will set back those looking to part-exchange their current console.

That said, a spokesman for Sony has unveiled a number of bundle packs which will be made available ‘on the run up to Xmas and beyond’ which combine the console with the likes of FIFA 13, Assassin’s Creed 3 and Wonderbook: Book of Spells.